A police department in Maryland will no longer be sporting any “thin blue line” flags, thanks to community members who feel such sights are “dismissive” of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Montgomery County Police came into the crossfire after they accepted a wooden TBL flag as a gift and took to social media to thank the local resident who so graciously provided it to them.
“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 post read. “The flag will be displayed in the 5th District Station.”
Needless to say, people got offended on the internet, with some going so far as to link the flag to “white supremacist” activity at the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“This is unacceptable. This flag was carried by the white supremacists in Charlottesville and has a meaning far beyond what you intend. (I hope!) Please do not raise this in a public building,” Katie Stauss wrote on Twitter.
Others felt that the TBL flag was incompatible with the Black Lives Matter movement, and referred to it as “racist.”
“This flag, the symbol of ‘Blue Lives Matter,’ excuses police violence against black residents, and mocks those who affirm that #BlackLivesMatter,” Joelle Novey tweeted.
“The Blue Lives Matter flag & movement were created in response to the Black Lives Matter mvmt,” Kristen Mink stated. “The primary purpose isn’t to honor cops; it’s to demean & diminish the Black Lives Matter mvmt- illogically, as being a cop is a choice & being Black is not. It’s racist. Take it down.”
Naturally, the county buckled, and the gift will not be displayed at all.
“Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones and I understand the concerns of the community. The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others,” read a memo by Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich. “Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the 5th District nor in any public space within the Police Department.”
According to the Daily Mail, one individual, who saw nothing wrong with the artwork, had a message for the Twitter outrage mob that led to the hand-made flag’s removal:
“[I] can’t wait for a hate group to use the rainbow flag or something you all like as their symbol, then see how many people demand [it to be] taken away.”
Maryland governor Larry Hogan chimed in on Saturday as well, calling Elrich’s move to ban the flag offensive and disgusting. Hogan also said the same flag hangs in the governor’s mansion.
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