University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Chief Kristen Roman on Friday banned officers from “Thin Blue Line” imagery while they are on the clock because it allegedly represents “hateful ideologies.” She did so after receiving criticism on social media from student activists concerning a Blue Lives Matter flag that was on display at their police department. The students reportedly demanded the flag be removed and equated it with white supremacy according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The “Thin Blue Line” flag is meant to show solidarity with the police. But leftists are linking it to racism and ignoring Black Lives Matter. They are using the Jan. 6 Capitol riot as justification for this move since there were “Thin Blue Line” flags allegedly being flown during the protests.
Roman released a statement saying that the flag had been “co-opted” by extremists and that the police department should distance themselves from “hateful ideologies.”
Roman emailed her officers on Jan. 14 and told them: “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.”
She also allegedly defended the flag as it was originally intended. Roman said it was meant to “symbolize the police’s commitment to their duty and community and protecting “society from chaos.”’
Roman has also said that her past efforts to explain what the flag means “continue to fall short in ways I can’t simply ignore.’
“I understand that this decision may cause emotional responses, even anger from some. I, too, feel hurt and disappointed as we confront our current reality. I know this is hard. I know this issue is complicated,” Roman wrote.
Roman also noted that the “Thin Blue Line” had recently been used to “dishonor the police profession.”
“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.”
Her ban applies not only to the flag, but also to pins, notebooks, coffee mugs, and other items. The only exceptions being made are for tattoos and flags that are flown at funerals for officers who were killed in the line of duty.
On Nov. 17, Roman released a statement saying her department condemned the flag when it was “intended to defend hate” or “invalidate social justice movements advocating for meaningful police reform.”
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