Maryland Officials Spar Over Fate of ‘Thin Blue Line’ Flag Deemed Overly Divisive

Maryland’s Republican governor says he is “offended and disgusted” by a Democratic leader’s decision to forbid a local police station from displaying a ‘thin blue line’ flag because it was described as ‘divisive’ by some in the community in social media posts.

The wooden U.S. flag, made by Germantown, Md. resident James Shelton and his son, Forrest, was intended as gift in honor of National First Responders Day. The flag is black and white but for a blue line across the lower third. He made a similar one with a red line through it and gave that one to a local fire station.

When pictures of the Sheltons were posted to the Facebook page of the Montgomery County Police Department, however, some members of the community took umbrage at the symbolism. Some noted that the blue line is a reference to the Blue Lives Matter movement, which is considered in some circles to be a racially tinged response to the Black Lives Matter.

Others said the non-standard flag had no business hanging in a public building anyway.

But the majority of the comments were, by far, supportive of the gesture.

Following the complaints, Montgomery County Marc Elrich told officers at the station to keep the flag under wraps.

“The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others,” he said in a statement. “Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the 5th District nor in any public space within the Police Department.”

As word of the controversy trickled out, Maryland Republican Governor, Larry Hogan, weighed in. In a twitter post, he declared himself “offended and disgusted.”

Later, on Facebook, he posted pictures of himself standing in front of similar flags in government buildings across the state.

We have been proud to hang these Thin Blue Line flags in Government House to honor the service and sacrifice of our…

Posted by Governor Larry Hogan on Sunday, November 3, 2019

“It is simply not appropriate or acceptable for the county executive to arbitrarily ban police officers from displaying a Thin Blue Line flag that was donated to them by a young boy in honor of National First Responders Day,” Hogan wrote.

What do you think?

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Montgomery Co execs, especially Marc Elrich, ought to be ashamed of themselves – and then to tell the cops they couldn’t say anything!


Whatever happened to open-mindedness and tolerance, without branding yourself as ridiculous?


Sherri, by that logic, you must hate yourself. How sad!

Dave Hardesty

Well if that’s the stance, if you don’t stand respectfully when the flag passes or when the National Anthem is played you should be arrested and put in prison.

incidentally, ALL LIVES MATTER.


I hope when the idiot needs a first responder they tell him to pound sand. I’m sick of the haters.

Thomas McClung
Thomas McClung

At least the despot is consistent. He was evidently sufficiently offended by the Battle Flag on our logo tags to recall them through the MVA three years ago. He’s still a tyrant and a hypocrite.

william jackson

There they go again—-D-RATs always on the wrong side of patriotism and common sense.

Phyllis Softa

Can anyone explain the obsession with symbols?





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