GERMANTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The “thin blue line” flag stirred up nationwide controversy after Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich expressed disapproval of the flags from Montgomery County Police Departments.
Just one week after a polarizing debate over a “thin blue line” flag donated to the fifth district Montgomery County Police Station in Germantown, law enforcement officers demonstrated to quote back the blue.
“The county executive comes out with a statement saying it divisive, it’s a symbol of white supremacy and with just five minutes of research would show that his take on it is just ridiculous,” said Rob O’Donnell, Brothers Before Others In.
It started when Montgomery County Police tweeted a picture of a young boy and his father donating this wood carved thin blue line flag, but County Executive Marc Elrich requested the station not display the flag as he believes the symbol adopted a negative meaning “Blue Lives Matter”, counteracting “Black Lives Matter” some were outraged as they feel they symbol is being tarnished and it’s just a political move.
“The county executives decision was a slap in the face to any Montgomery County Police officer who has served or is currently serving,” said George Boyce, retired MCPD officer.
The thin blue line dates back to the 20th century as U.S. Army soldiers wore blue uniforms. Law enforcement adopted it in the ’50s to represent police unity, now in recent news, many have been seen waving the flag at white supremacy rallies and by groups against Black Lives Matter.
“There’s nothing offensive about the blue line flag and what it represents, unfortunately, it was used badly in one demonstration but if that’s the case then people would not be supporting the American flag,” Laurel Weetall, Montgomery County resident.
Still, people still remain on both sides, some officers felt slighted by the county executive’s response to the flag.
“I want him to change his decision, I want him to support the men and women in law enforcement, no just here in Montgomery County but nationwide,” said Boyce.
So far, the county executive verbally expressed disapproval of the flag but there hasn’t been an official statement that bans stations from displaying the flag.