LAPD ban of ‘thin blue line’ flags latest salvo in culture war…

The Los Angeles Police Department has ordered its officers not to display the “thin blue line” flag publicly, though they may still do so at their personal work spaces, lockers or personal vehicles. Chief Michel Moore said the flag’s original meaning, police support, has been “hijacked” by far-right extremist groups. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)For some, the “thin blue line” flag is an expression of solidarity with police officers who have lost their lives on the job.To others, the black-and-white American flag with a single blue stripe is a potent symbol of the ties between right-wing extremism and American law enforcement.The tension between those irreconcilable interpretations spilled over in the Los Angeles Police Department this month, when Chief Michel Moore ordered the flag, which was widely displayed in station lobbies around the city, to be removed from public view.Along with banning the flag from station lobbies, Moore said his order includes patches on uniforms and bumper stickers on police vehicles. Violators could face discipline, a department spokeswoman said Thursday.In a departmentwide email, Moore said the flag’s original meaning of support for police had been overshadowed when it began appearing at rallies for the Proud Boys and other far-right extremist groups.“It’s unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the ‘Thin Blue Line Flag’ to symbolize their undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views. Flags serve as powerful symbols with specific meanings,” he …

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