Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Maryland county executive rules ‘thin blue line’ flag won’t be displayed at police station due to community concerns

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — A government official in Montgomery County, Maryland reversed a decision by the police department to display a wooden American flag at a police station due to “the concerns of the community.”

Officials with the Montgomery County Department of Police on Wednesday, Oct. 30 shared a photo of the flag on Twitter, writing that it was presented to police by James Shelton in recognition of National First Responders Day. Police said it would be displayed in the 5th District Station.

In an update on Friday, Nov. 1, police shared a statement on Twitter from Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, indicating the flag would not be displayed at the police station, “nor in any public space within the Police Department.”

Below is the complete statement from County Executive Elrich:

“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. Because it is divisive, the flag will not be posted at the 5th District nor in any public space within the Police Department. Under my administration, we are committed to improving police relations with the community and will immediately address any action that stands against our mission.”

Some people argued the design is considered a symbol of hate and used by white nationalist groups, while others said that’s not the case and is purely meant to honor law enforcement.

It wasn’t immediately clear what would be done with the flag.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.