I’m going to do something a little different this week. Instead of a state flag, let’s see if we can fix another flag that’s getting a lot of attention lately: the Police States of America flag.
This flag is often referred to as the “Thin Blue Line” flag (even though the line isn’t very thin). It symbolizes the role they see for the police: as a “line of defense” between Bad People and Good People. But that’s a rather simplistic and dangerous way to view policing. The police are supposed to protect everyone. That even includes people accused of crimes, because due process is an absolutely fundamental principle of our government. Punishing people on the spot is vigilantism. It is literally a crime.
A better way to represent the role of the police in our society would be to take that blue and move it to the field of stars, to demonstrate that the police should stand behind the people, and try to bring us all together, not separate us.
But there’s something still troubling about this design, which is even more stark with that blue line out of the way. These black and white bars seem to reflect a rather (obviously) black-and-white view of the world, the kind of mindset that racists have about “blacks” vs. “whites”. Plus, it looks disturbingly like an old-style inmate uniform from a prison, or (if hung vertically) somewhere even worse.
So, I’ve changed the bars to something more colorful. Red is the color of life-giving blood, and an international symbol of the social nature of humanity. Red, white, and blue… for some reason that combo gives me a good feeling… I can’t put my finger on why, but it feels right.
I encourage police officers – and those who support them – to tear down and burn that divisive Police States flag they’ve been saluting, and embrace this replacement, which represents us all as the United States. #AllJobsMatter