A Montgomery County Maryland official has banned the display of a blue line flag that was presented to police officers on National First Responders Day by a local woodworker, James Shelton, and his young son. The police station planned to display the flag inside the police station, but Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich banned the flag after activists complained about it on Twitter.
In response to this conversation, we wanted to post a note from Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich:— Montgomery County Department of Police (@mcpnews) November 2, 2019
"Acting Police Chief Marcus Jones and I understand the concerns of the community."
The Blue Lives Matter flag & movement were created in response to the Black Lives Matter mvmt. 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.— Kristin Mink #ImpeachTrump #ImpeachKavanaugh (@KristinMinkDC) October 31, 2019
It’s racist. Take it down.
Let's take a breath here people. The shirt and tattoo are of Mr. Shelton's business, Shelton Woodworks. We are appreciative of Mr. Shelton's flag and it represents support for police officers and first responders everywhere. pic.twitter.com/mFOfu6VY7A— Montgomery County Department of Police (@mcpnews) October 30, 2019
"The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others," County Executive Marc Elrich said in a note to the police department. "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."
Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD) said he was "offended and disgusted" by the decision to ban the flag's display. He called the decision "outrageous and unconscionable." The governor said he proudly hangs the same flag in the Government House and attends funerals for fallen officers across his state.
I’m offended and disgusted that County Executive Marc Elrich has prohibited Montgomery County Police officers from displaying a “thin blue line” American flag that was made for them by a father & his young son in honor of National First Responders Day.https://t.co/d8bDTWLgXl— Larry Hogan (@LarryHogan) November 3, 2019
We proudly hang this very same American flag in Government House in their honor. To outlaw these American flags from being hung in county buildings by law enforcement officers is outrageous and unconscionable.— Larry Hogan (@LarryHogan) November 3, 2019
Oct. 28 was dedicated National First Responders Day by Congress to honor first responders -- police, career and volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics.