The main picture of this article, above, is of Hamilton County (OH) Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) personnel raising a Thin Blue Line flag (a novelty flag, more here) after rioters took down the American flag.
I understand that these are trying times for us all and that law enforcement officers (LEOs) are under even greater pressure than usual. Adding to that pressure is not what any of us should do, even unwittingly.
This article is for educational purposes and is meant to communicate respectfully to our nation’s law enforcement community and anyone else it can help. I have respect for all first responders and have been training LEO, Fire, and EMS honor guards since 2013. I’m aware of the selfless sacrifice of first responders to their communities. I’m also aware of the hatred for LEOs and the single act an officer can do to tarnish the whole Blue Family. For those reading this who do not understand why respect is always given, please read this.
The Wrong Flag
Replacing an American flag due to damage (fading, tears, or theft, etc.) is accomplished with another American flag or, at the very least, a state flag, temporarily.
Raising one of our historic flags, the Gadsden Flag, for example, would have been perfect. The deputies in this photo could have even strung up a rioter’s underwear- better yet, a rioter in his underwear.
These thin line flags do not represent the country, we already have a flag for that. They are only for specific communities: the military and first responders. Although I do understand the reasoning behind them, I’m not a huge fan of the Thin Line flags, but the black and white thin line flag with a colored stripe is not against the Flag Code. I just don’t appreciate a flag that looks like a corrupted American flag/National Ensign.
What? “A takeover”?
That’s crazy talk! There is no way that was intended! I’ve already received the private messages through my social media accounts assuring me that this instance was benign. I honestly think raising that flag was the result of good intentions. It was just a really bad choice.
The Wrong Time
In the middle of protests and riots, we do not need to communicate an inflammatory message. Most likely, the HCSO deputies in the picture had every intention of honoring and did not realize the implications of tyranny. There is not “good” time
The Wrong Place
Raising the Thin Blue Line flag here is absolutely 100% inappropriate. The flag was raised in front of the Hamilton County Justice Center, a government building. If it was a private home and flagpole, no problem. raising a non-governmental flag in place of the American is tantamount to signaling a takeover. The action in the photo unofficially communicated that the US government in the area had been toppled and that the police had taken over. I truly hope that is not what is intended here.
May our Lord and Savior bring peace to our land.