My neighbor recently started flying the “thin blue line” flag. This flag is now front and center in my world every day because it’s directly across the street. I want to ask my neighbor if he knows people associate this flag with white supremacy, that it’s often flown alongside the confederate flag, or that it’s seen as an opposing response to Black Lives Matter.
An alternate version of the American flag suggests an alternate version of America. But the colors have been completely de-saturated, which to me symbolizes oppression. A central, bright blue line runs through it, suggesting a single, controlling force.
But knowing that it’s a reaction to Black Lives Matter, it also seems to be saying “black lives don’t matter”. Or, “racism is ok”. It’s beyond me how black lives matter can be misinterpreted. Michael Che has an excellent bit about it:
I get that people want to show support for police. But altering our flag carries far more meaning. A flag symbolizes ideologies, values and beliefs. But most prominently today, flags represent a government.
Altered flags symbolize opposition
The Syrian rebel flag is a clear example which is meant to convey opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s government:
In Spain, Catalonian nationalists have long flown a separate flag called the Estelada, which uses the same colors of the Spanish flag in a different design, in support of independence.
Flags can also symbolize a faction of government
Factions are backed by militias, and militias take control by force. Many who fly this flag also openly carry weapons which makes this idea not so far fetched.
The opposite of unity
The thin blue line flag draws a line in the sand which divides us. It’s a clear symbol of how divided our country is and it’s sad. I just hope that people who fly this flag understand that.
I want to shout at my neighbor, that our flag is red white and blue, not black white and blue. Does he believe in America? I hope so.