Wisconsin police chief bans ‘Thin Blue Line’ flags after outcry over the ‘white supremacist’ emblem

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s police chief has banned the force’s officers from using the “Thin Blue Line” imagery while on duty, according to a report from ABC News.

What’s a brief history on this?

In December, the department came under fire after an innocuous social media photo from the department featured a Thin Blue Line flag on one of the departments walls.

Social media users branded the photo “toxic” and said that the flag is a “sign of racism and conservatism.”

Despite the outcry, Chief Kristen Roman at the time stuck by the flag and its presence in the office.

“The ‘thin blue line’ phrase and associated imagery date back decades,” she said in a December statement. “To many within and outside of the police procession, it symbolized a commitment to public service and the countless selfless sacrifices willingly made to honor that commitment, up to and including laying down one’s life to protect the lives of others.”

The Wisconsin State Journal reported that some people associate the flag with the riot that took place at the U.S. Capitol in early January.

“Some see the controversial flag as a symbol of solidarity with police,” the outlet’s Emily Hamer writes, “but it has also been flown by white supremacists, including those who stormed the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the legitimate election defeat of former President Donald Trump. Five people, including a U.S. Capitol Police officer, died in the riot.”

What are the details?

According to the report, Roman said that the flag had been “co-opted” by extremists with “hateful ideologies.”

In a mid-January email, Roman said, “We must consider the cost of clinging to a symbol that is undeniably and inextricably linked to actions and beliefs antithetical to UWPD’s values.”

The ban on the imagery, according to the outlet, includes “flags, pins, bracelets, notebooks, coffee mugs, and other items.”

Tattoos, the outlet reported, are an exception.

KMGH-TV on Friday reported that Roman added, “At the end of the day, we have dedicated ourselves to a profession that demands service above self. As such, relevant community concerns, perceptions, and fears necessarily outweigh our shared professional investment in a symbol that presently separates and alienates us from those we have promised to serve.”

The chief added, however, that she would consider possible exceptions for “event-specific displays such as line-of-duty death observances.”

Roman added, “My intent is not that we reject outright the symbol for what we understand it to represent, nor do I believe it to be inherently racist/fascist as many purport. Instead, my intent is to be reasonably responsive to its detrimental impact on many in our community for whom the visible symbol holds a very different meaning.”

KMGH also noted that Trump supporters at the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot carried “thin blue line” flags with them.

The Wisconsin State Journal added that Roman, too, was “hurt and disappointed” over banning the emblem.

“I understand that this decision may cause emotional responses, even anger from some,” Roman said in the statement. “I, too, feel hurt and disappointed as we confront our current reality. I know this is hard. I know this issue is complicated.”

14 thoughts on “Wisconsin police chief bans ‘Thin Blue Line’ flags after outcry over the ‘white supremacist’ emblem

  1. Sounds a lot to me that the people whining and moaning are very sick inside themselves.. They should get psychiatrists. It’s not supposed to be about changing your outside visuals I don’t care how many statues you knocked down or school names you change and continue to erase what you don’t like , None of that will change your angst, Uncomfortability and anger inside yourself.

  2. B.S.
    The Snowflakes control the majority.
    If they need help, don’t call for the Police to help you
    Call another snowflake

  3. Why do we bend over backwards for a few people that hate everything that happens. What happened to having a back bone and telling people to suck it up.

  4. The thin blue line flags are no more racist or white supremacist or any other radical group; the thin blue line flags stand for Law and Order, and protection as well as helpful in time of need. These men and women in Blue perform so many acts of kindness that 95% of Americans know nothing about. We need them, the American citizen needs our men and women in Blue and this Flag recognizes their contribution to America. God Bless them All.

    1. Thank you Kathy for those kind remarks. We Officers are PROFESSIONALS and take great pride in the performance of our duties. There are few Officers out there who have not saved at least one life, and most have directly saved more than that and indirectly many lives in their career which is why we do this and sacrifice so much.

  5. If you do not think it Racist and that it is the belief in sacrifice for Police Professionalism then why are you banning it? I PROUDLY fly that flag just below the American Flag on the flagpole in my front yard! Why? Because I have buried some of my Brother Officers and was nearly one of them as I was badly hurt in the line of duty myself and left permanently disabled! I WILL NEVER TAKE THAT FLAG DOWN!

  6. Of BTW, what about the BLM Flag? That certainly IS Racist as it applies to ONLY Blacks. The Thin Blue Line Flag applies to ALL races that serve as Police Officers, even those that happen to be gay!

    1. Thanks for noticing those also, actual terrorists of BLM and ANTIFA can fly their flags/emblems whenever and wherever. That LEO that kowtowed to the radicals is not making anything safer, actually he is allowing them to feel unstoppable. More LEO in upper ranks need to have their spines checked as to who they support, the good peoples or the thugs and killers/looters/burners.

  7. The problem is not the people who decry such nonsense, We will always have those sorts in any society.
    The problem sets squarely with those who acquiesce to those totally nonsense demands . Those cowards have no values to draw upon and therefore cave in without argument bringing down everyone else with their no value perspectives. People of that nature should never be allowed to hold any type of public office. The need is for responsible people with values, not the brain dead who have no values to support!

  8. Hey Chief, why don’t you go run the Soup Kitchen? Maybe you have enough spine to do that job. You’re “Sackless”

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