Maryland Governor Trolls Montgomery County Exec Who Banned Thin Blue Line Flag

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan posted pictures of himself posing with a county executive-banned Thin Blue Line flag.

Germantown, MD – The battle over whether Montgomery County police may hang a handmade Thin Blue Line flag gifted to them on National First Responders Day rages on, with the Maryland governor trolling the anti-cop county executive on Twitter.

“We are proud to hang these Thin Blue Line flags in Government House to honor our brave law enforcement officers. A local elected official prohibiting police from displaying a flag given to them by a grateful child is disgraceful,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

Hogan included pictures of himself posing with Thin Blue Line and Thin Red Line flags that have been hung in the governor’s mansion.

The controversy began after Montgomery County resident James Shelton and his young son, Forrest, lovingly handcrafted a wooden Thin Blue Line flag for the Montgomery County Police Department’s 5th District in Germantown and a Thin Red Line flag for the firefighters at Quince Orchard Fire Station 31.

The thoughtful gift was in celebration of the first official National First Responders Day on Oct. 28.

The Montgomery County police were thrilled and tweeted a thank you note with a picture of some officers posing with the flag and the father-and-son woodworking team who created it.

“Thank you to resident James Shelton, who presented Montgomery County 5th District officers with a wooden American Flag that he had made in recognition of National First Responders Day. The flag will be displayed in the 5th District Station,” the Montgomery County Department of Police posted to its official Twitter account on Wednesday.

But then a county employee got offended and sent a complaint about the flag which clearly demonstrated the person’s lack of understanding about its meaning.

The missive, which Blue Lives Matter has obtained a copy of, carried the header “REMOVE ‘Blue Lives Matter’ Flag From 5th District Station IMMEDIATELY!”

“As a lifelong County resident and thirteen year County employee, I am writing to express my shock, outrage and disgust at the audacity of the Montgomery County Police Department to proudly and publicly display a racist hate symbol in a County building,” the person wrote. “The posting of a ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag sends a horrifically callous message to people of color in our county – that they are not respected, valued or protected. The police can pretend that ‘Blue Lives Matter’ is a simple police support group all they want. We are all aware of the real truth: that Blue Lives Matter is a co-opt of an anti-racist slogan that is used interchangeably with ‘Thin Blue Line’ propaganda to spread a racist message of hate, one that is used to inspire fear and directly encourage violence against people of color.”

“I am not surprised that this occurred – police have been a bolstered and protected class within the County for decades, and new leadership doesn’t appear to have changed this fact,” the angry writer continued. “I am writing now not because I expect you all to do the right thing (I don’t have faith in the police to EVER do the right thing, in fact) but because you should be confronted and publicly shamed for this act, and be forced to grapple with whether or not Montgomery County truly wishes to embrace racist hate symbols in public buildings. Whatever MCPD and FRS get up to on their own time is their business – but to display this symbol so prominently and proudly within a public building is beyond the pale.

“Shame on you all,” concluded the rant, which sources told Blue Lives Matter was sent to Acting Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones and Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

But the Thin Blue Line flag was created long before Black Lives Matter ever existed and the term “thin blue line” has been popular with law enforcement officers since the 1950s.

"Thin Blue Line flags are just flags that express support for law enforcement. They have no direct connection to any Blue Lives Matter organization outside of their original meaning to show support for police,” Blue Lives Matter Editor-in-Chief Christopher Berg explained.

It turns out that the actual meaning of the flag didn’t matter because the county executive decided to prohibit the police department from displaying the Thin Blue Line flag before it even got hung.

The police department shared the news on Friday in a series of tweets that contained the edict from the county executive.

"Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones and I understand the concerns of the community,” the message began. "The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others. Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the 5th District nor in any public space within the Police Department."

"Under my administration, we are committed to improving police relations with the community and will immediately address any action that stands against our mission,” Elrich finished.

Despite the county executive’s assertions that his decision was made in lockstep with the Montgomery County police chief, a note from the chief to his police force indicated that might not be entirely true.

Blue Lives Matter obtained a copy of the email that Chief Jones sent to all of his law enforcement personnel on Sunday.

“As of now, the decision only pertains to the donated wooden flag,” the chief wrote. “This decision is not final as I requested that we take a pause due to those who distorted the purpose of the flag to be a Blue Lives Matter issue versus a Black Lives Matter issue. This is far from the purpose of why the flag was gifted and presented to the 5th District Station.”

“I realize this decision has had a very emotional impact on the members of the department and has raised even more questions as the thin blue line symbol is incorporated into numerous aspects of our own department and American police culture in general,” he continued.

“However, I will be engaging in further discussions with the administration and the FOP about the implications of this decision, the distorted views held by some, on both sides of the political spectrum, of this long-standing symbol and how we will address the concerns that I am hearing from many of you,” Chief Jones wrote.

“I am fully aware of the true meaning of the Thin Blue Line and what it means to law enforcement,” the chief assured his officers. “I have the highest regard for this department, its officers and professional staff. It is vital we maintain our strong professional reputation with the majority of the community that continues to support us.”

He asked the police force to be patient while he worked “to build a greater understanding of the meaning and importance of this symbol to the men and women who tirelessly protect this county day in and day out.”

The same day, the governor started firing off tweets at Elrich condemning his decision.

A Montgomery County police officer told Blue Lives Matter that officers were disheartened by the county executive’s announcement.

“I feel like they’ve politicized a flag meant to honor officers that have sacrificed their lives for this profession and their communities,” the officer said.

Another officer said he was upset that a gift from a little kid to police had been criticized.

"It's unbelievable an innocent kid can't give a gift without being criticized and having politics getting involved," the officer told Blue Lives Matter.

Comments (15)
No. 1-13
IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

That's awesome. It's great to see an elected official openly supporting Law Enforcement.

Sworn to Serve
Sworn to Serve

The Montgomery County Exec needs to resign. This so-called complainant who clearly hates LEO's and is working for local government seems like he would be detrimental to governmental operations as a hostile employee.

ikaika
ikaika

Good for Governor Hogan! Thankfully, he has a brain and balls.

Dr Shoe
Dr Shoe

The only people "Offended" by inanimate objects are Leftist Snowflakes, criminals, trolls and Braindead Zombie Parrots!

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Elrich is standing firm, and continuing to fail...

StopTheMadness
StopTheMadness

So is this exec calling that little child a racist? Individuals so full of rage and hate should not be representing any community.

AnnykaV
AnnykaV

I think the snowflake looking to be offended who had the "audacity" to email that rant to her ultimate boss in the county needs to be reprimanded. Who the hell would write that kind of email to their (likely) boss's, boss's, boss?

HonorYourHeroes
HonorYourHeroes

A government actually supporting the Police Thin Blue Flag? I haven't seen that for a long time.

Pat1978
Pat1978
 In identity politics, guilt by association supersedes truth. The goal is exerting and accumulating power by any means necessary while evidence, objectivity and demonstrable fact take a backseat, if they are not thrown from the vehicle entirely. It is important to note that the game they are playing is multifaceted and has numerous players. It's a child of intersectional feminist dogma which has also given birth to, women's studies, gender studies, queer studies, chicano studies, African studies, critical race, literary and legal theories and it has invaded the soft social sciences in many schools. I've encountered it from journalism professors, mathematics professors, philosophy professors and many others. 
 It is a movement that plays on our empathy and our tendency to want an overarching moral and ethical story that applies to everyone. It is a collectivist philosophy that leaves no room for dissent. They start with the assumption that everything is about competing groups vying for power. The next assumption they make is that the group that appears to be winning is the oppressor. The final and possibly the most lethal assumption is that the government can correct the social world via equity; by making everyone equal in their outcomes or by bringing everyone to their knees. This would require a tyranny that we have seen several times in the 20th century (communism) that resulted in over 100,000,000 deaths. 
This particular d-hole just wanted to stop a flag from being displayed but the conceptual framework behind her demented thought process is that of identity politics. It is a philosophy that decries racism and prejudice while, at the same time, encouraging and rewarding racism and prejudice, as long as it is directed against the 'privileged and powerful' or the 'oppressor'. If it ever becomes the prevailing philosophy (which it may as politicians are often graduates of the prestigious universities where this snake oil is being peddled), we will be living in a nightmarish dystopia. I am pretty sure that it will destroy itself in the marketplace of ideas so I still have some hope. 
Aramovich
Aramovich

One tactic of anarchists, revolutionary socialists, fascists, et al is to demonize the existing institutions that stand in the way of their rise to absolute power. Our police are being "marginalized" by those yearning for power. I stand in fear of what might replace our present law enforcement if these power grabbers get their way. Look at fundamentalist Islamic countries like Iran, the former USSR, and Nazi Europe for an example of where freedom goes when ideologues take over.

Onafly
Onafly

The only bigot and racist hateful comments are those of the letter writer.

DeiselDemon92
DeiselDemon92

A lifetime county resident A 13 year county employee A FULL TIME JACKASS

RPG156
RPG156

The police have always kowtowed to the most asinine assertions and confusions of activists who only seek to gather support of groups by misleading and pandering to their chants by being stupider than they are about the fact that the Thin Blue Line flag predates the Black Lives Matter and has absolutely nothing to do with that movement. This politician only proved his stupidity and militancy. While the governor proved he understands the truth and was photographed standing in front of it.