One of the most hypocritical things I see is the hypocrisy by both police officers and their supporters who have no problem violating the Flag Code while arguing that individuals should follow the law to avoid problems. Some even argue that those that the police violate likely had it coming because they broke the law or were likely to break the law. The hypocrisy lies in the fact that The Thin Blue Line American flag is disrespectful to the American flag.
A black-and-white American flag is the symbol that is used to represent support for police officers. Some police officers wear a version of the flag on their face masks or even on their uniforms.
A company, the Thin Blue Line USA, even sells clothing with the altered flag symbol on it.
The history of The Thin Blue Line traces directly back to the racist policing of William H. Parker whose police reforms led directly to the Watts Riots of 1965.
The racist history of The Thin Blue Line flag isn’t the only issue with the symbology representing police solidarity, it is also the hypocrisy.
The United States Flag Code is clear about the use of the United States flag, the symbol of the country.
United States Code Title 4, Chapter 1 is clear about how the United States flag can be used.
Section 8, subsection D, “Respect for flag,” states, “The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.”
Although the Flag Code does not carry criminal penalties after the 1990 U.S. v. Eichman Supreme Court ruling about flag burning, the code nonetheless states that The Thin Blue Line flag is disrespectful to the flag of the United States.
Therein lies the hypocrisy of not only devaluing the American flag but violating United States law.