Police State/Civil Liberties

The Short, Fraught History of the ‘Thin Blue Line’ American Flag

I would even oppose torching the “thin blue line” flag, although I’m fine with torching actual police stations (enemy military bases). The eventual success of the revolution would depend in part on the defection or desertion of significant numbers of police.

By Maurice Chammah and Cary Aspinwall

The Marshall Project

As protests over policing continue to convulse cities throughout the U.S., one symbol keeps showing up: a black-and-white American flag with one blue stripe.

Recently, the flag was flown from the back of a car alongside protests in South Dakota, and burned outside the Utah State Capitol. When deputies hoisted the flag outside government buildings in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Orange, California, the sheriffs in both communities were sharply criticized. Officers have worn versions of the flag on face masks while clashing with protesters in Baltimore and in Washington, D.C.


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