Fallen Trooper's Family Forced To Remove Thin Blue Line Flag Over 'Racism'

The town of York asked the family of a Maine trooper murdered in the line of duty to take down a Thin Blue Line flag.

York, ME – The family of a fallen Maine state trooper was asked to take down a Thin Blue Line flag honoring the 55th anniversary of his murder in the line of duty out of concerns it was offensive.

Charlie Black, the son of fallen Maine State Police Trooper Charles Black, put the flag on a telephone pole at the York Street intersection of his family’s compound on Andrews Way in early July, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Trooper Black, 28, was shot and killed on July 9, 1964 while responding to a bank robbery in South Berwick, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Charlie was born just weeks after his hero father was murdered, the Bangor Daily News reported.

His mother, Mary Black Andrews, said her son had flown the flag to honor his father’s memory and service to Maine, and she was furious that the town wanted it taken down.

“God forbid we should offend anyone,” Andrews told the Bangor Daily News. “It bothers me tremendously. It’s the anniversary of his death. He gave his life to protect the public, and I gave my life to this town, and we can’t even celebrate this person. I’m sorry I offended them. It’s coming down and it won’t happen again.”

She took her fallen husband’s tribute down on July 22.

York Police Chief Charles Szeniawski said Andrews and her son weren’t breaking any laws, the Bangor Daily News reported.

“There is no policy about flags. Can anyone put anything up there? I don’t know. Maybe it’s something we should look at,” Chief Szeniawski said.

The problem with the tribute to the fallen trooper arose after the York Diversity Forum complained to town officials that the Thin Blue Line flag could be sending a racist message, the Bangor Daily News reported.

York Town Manager Steve Burns said he was aware that white supremacist groups had waved the Thin Blue Line flag during the Charlottesville, Virginia demonstrations in 2017.

“I don’t know what the right outcome is,” Burns told the Bangor Daily News. “This family was putting up the flag in memory of Mary’s husband. She’s feeling hurt right now. I also don’t want some visitor to think it’s a racist flag. So I’m glad it’s down. I don’t want the community festering over this.”

So even though it didn’t violate and any town ordinances and was supposed to be a tribute to a fallen trooper, he asked Andrews – whom he called his friend – to take the Thin Blue Line flag down.

Shockingly, the president of the York Diversity Forum told the Bangor Daily News she didn’t even know the background of the tribute to which she was objecting.

“It looks just like an American flag but it’s black and white,” York Diversity Forum President Susan Kepner initially said. “We were concerned about the message that sends. We get along well with the Police Department, and we honor fallen heroes as well as anyone else. We would just like positive messages out there.”

Kepner claimed the Thin Blue Line flag was a problem because it had been used in Charlottesville as a unifying symbol for white nationalists, the Bangor Daily News reported.

It was clear the York Diversity Forum hadn’t done its homework on the history of the Thin Blue Line flag.

In fact, the term “thin blue line” has been popular with law enforcement officers since the 1950s and has nothing to do with the white supremacy movement.

"Anti-police activists routinely make false claims about pro-police symbols to dissuade people from openly showing support for police,” said Christopher Berg, Editor-in-Chief of Blue Lives Matter. "It's cowardly to cater to these baseless claims."

After the news of what the York Diversity Forum had done became public, they found themselves facing a lot of blowback from the community.

So the organization tried to walk back its original assertions, WGME reported.

"We never asked for the flag to be taken down. It was clear that there was no incendiary motivations for why they put it up," Christine Hartwell, a spokeswoman for the York Diversity Forum, told WGME.

The flag was moved to a spot inside the family’s property and Charlie Black has called for peace in the community, the Bangor Daily News reported.

But it was also clear that giving in to the town’s request didn’t mean he had let the uninformed people who associated the flag with white supremacists win.

“The Thin Blue Line symbol belongs to us and we’re not going to let anyone hijack it. We’re not giving it up,” Charlie told the Bangor Daily News.

Comments (111)
View Older Messages
No. 51-69
Hawkeye48
Hawkeye48

Sadly the family of a fallen trooper, AND the city, capitulated to the city officials and the offensive radical groups demands! ME is well known for being leftist, but to submit to baseless and false demands only gives 'power' to that group who would stifle the free speech and expression of others! What a pathetic display of cowardice!

Usernamenottaken
Usernamenottaken

Tom Gantert, the " journalist" who wrote this article, included the petty statement that " it was clear the York Diversity Council" had not researched the ( meaning of) the " thin blue line" flag. Neither did he. The " thin blue line" reference dates back to 1811. Blue Lives Matter was formed as a non profit support group for officers and their families after alleged members of Black Lives Matter executed police officers in NYC, in 2014. It is irrelevant if alleged " white supremacists co-opted the thin blue line flag in Charlottesville. They also waved the American flag. And when did the word " "nationalist"become a dirty word? It means one who identifies and loves his country. It, too, has been coopted by the Left and the yellow journalists who now comprise this country's " media." To the family of Trooper Charles Black, just know: I have a thin blue line flag decal on my car and a " fallen officer" tag as well. Consider it my tribute to Trooper Black.

lizr
lizr

Ridiculous

beans08
beans08

If some racist group picked up the American flag, which has happened, do we take down all American flags? This flag represents the men and women in blue (LE) that have which have died in the line of duty. The York Diversity Forum is racist and is discriminating LE. I wish she hadn't taken it down. You can't let the intolerance to continue.

CRETE GARY
CRETE GARY

WHERE IN HELL IS THE RACISM?They are honoring a fallen family member for Gods sake.STOP THIS RACISM CRAP.Your helping to destroy this country

61mouse
61mouse

Yep since Scumbamma 2008

spd522
spd522

I would politely and respectfully tell them to go fuck themselves. The flag stays.

Kiralena
Kiralena

It is past time we rid ourselves of the ridiculous notion of “Political Correctness”! It has done absolutely nothing, to help people get along. It has, gone a long way in dividing people and highlighting our differences, rather than celebrating what we have in common. We are all “Americans”! This designation does not distinguish colour, gender, class or social status! We should all be less worried about differences, more worried about what we can do as “Americans”! As for the debate over the Thin Blue Line Flag, it would seem that a basic tenement should be, when making a complaint about something, you should at the very least, know what is is your objecting to! To Complain, using an event that happen in a different State, caused by major clashes between protesters over a Historical Monument, is hardly going to repeat itself in Maine, over a Flag that represents service and sacrifice, of an Officer Killed in the Line of Duty! It would be a great gesture of those that took exception to the display of “sacrifice and remembrance “, considered making a plaque, telling the story of this Family, who gave “all” for the community they loved. Then each year, when the Blue Line Flag Flies, it is something the whole Community can be proud of!

policeofficermom
policeofficermom

I have this flag on the back corner of my vehicle window! If you don't like it dont look! My "opinion " is just as important as yours! Anyone who disagrees is a racist!!?? I'm a firm believer in the 2nd amendment also!!!

Hawk3699
Hawk3699

Well, I'm going to put a Thin Blue Line flag out in front of my house and I'll wait and see if I get any backlash in Pa. I guarantee it WON'T be taken down. Liberal posers are everywhere.

RunCop
RunCop

Assholes offended by this flag....I’ll bet they wouldn’t bitch about a rainbow flag.

Jbkerner
Jbkerner

"...could be sending a racist message,..." (emphasis mine). So, it wasn't sending a racist message, and nobody really complained about it, but they wanted the flag removed to eliminate the possibility that someone in the future might take offense. This is bullshit! When are these "town officials" going to grow a pair instead of acting like whiney little school girls? The message this sends to me is that the York "town officials" are more interested in the appeasement of the anti-police activists, than they are for average citizens. That's pathetic!

Jbkerner
Jbkerner

Just for the record, "being offended" by something is a personal choice. Normal people just shrug off any percieved slights, when they realize that no real offense was intended. But today's "keyboard warrior" isn't really normal.

DR226
DR226

So they take the flag down on the ASSUMPTION someone MIGHT be offended. These FEMALES think the flag being flown in Charlottesville was to support white supremacy, were they there do they know the person waving it? Not likely. Without a complaint from anyone except this group of fools, the town caves to their demands. Sad to see Maine falling to the left.

MamaDxo
MamaDxo

It is not racist to fly a flag honoring our LEO'S! What's racist is "allowing" the "officials" to ORDER ANYONE remove said flag! Such crap and disrespect in this country these days is flat SICKENING AND SHAMEFUL! Most people are ragged tired of this "race" card being played over EVERYTHING! WHO CARES IF YOUR FEELINGS ARE HURT! Look the other way! How about all the flags in people's cars, flown at their homes etc that are from FOREIGN COUNTRIES? How offinding is THAT? Or having to "press 1" for English.... In AMERICA? This racist NONSENSE is sooooo old!

StLouis9-1-1
StLouis9-1-1

When I read this article, I couldn't keep myself from responding.

The Thin Blue Line flag, sometimes called the Blue Lives Matter flag, is being assailed because of inaccurate information and assumptions- just like the "Hands up, don't shoot" debacle. One white supremacist group used it in one of their marches and now it is apparently being said to be racist. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Let me explain what the Thin Blue Line flag means to me and, I think, to all police officers.

The flag is a representation of the American flag because, as sworn police officers, we all took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State in which we work.

But, the flag is black and white with a single blue stripe. The symbolism behind that is not as obvious, perhaps. The flag is black and white because, ideally, the only color we see is blue. And, the police have long been called the "thin blue line" between order and chaos.

The flag does not represent racism. It does not support unequal treatment of any group. It represents the unity of the police profession and SUPPORTS equal treatment for all.

I think it's unconscionable that this family, still grieving after 50 years and wishing to show support for their fallen loved-one, was forced to take down their Thin Blue Line flag, at least for the reason given. If it was hung somewhere that it didn't belong (like a utility pole), that is one valid reason for having it removed. But, that is not the reason given. The fear of "racism" was cited as the reason the family was asked to take it down.

So, the next time someone tries to tell you the Thin Blue Line flag is racist, please educate them.

PO2313
PO2313

Simple solution here. Refuse to take the flag down. Expose them.

pamh5
pamh5

That is so sad. That son just wanted to pay tribute to his dad. Certain people are offended by everything these days if it's not what THEY like, and they don't care about anyone else's feelings

RayRayGunn
RayRayGunn

Every Law abiding citizen needs to take a stand and tell the liberals,racists, bigots etc. TO STOP THE NOISE AND GROW UP IT'S THAT SIMPLE