SOLON, Ohio – On Friday, the Solon Police Department hoisted a flag with the original “Thin Blue Line” design at its station after removing the version bearing the American flag style earlier in the week due to concerns of the community.
The flag hoisted Friday has a single blue line on a solid black background.
Earlier this week, the ministry removed an amended version that featured a black American flag with a blue line at the request of Solon’s mayor, Edward H. Kraus.
Kraus said he had asked the ministry to remove the amended version as “a way to mitigate the unfortunate negative connotation that has been attributed to this specific design.”
The mayor said he had had a discussion with the department’s police chief Richard Tonelli about a way to honor the police without the stigma attached to the modified version of the flag.
“We agree that raising a flag in honor of the dedicated men and women who serve in our law enforcement is not only long overdue, but is necessary to shed light on the care and work that our police do for the citizens of Solon, ”he added. said the mayor.
He continued, “In recent years our officers have removed more and more firearms from the streets; officer prosecutions have increased as Solon’s officers take dangerous and necessary steps to keep our community safe; and our brave men and women in blue are tasked with stopping violent crime, putting their own lives in danger. Our agents are the most diverse department in the city, representing and promoting the level of inclusion and equity that all communities should stand for. They do it in a way that is professional, respectful, and purposeful. Their duty is essential and their commitment to all of our citizens is unparalleled.
On Tuesday, the mayor said the department was looking for a way to honor police officers and those who gave their lives in the line of duty. At that time, the mayor said he would replace the modified flag with the National Law Enforcement Memorial Flag, which is a blue badge with a red rose on it.
Since then, the mayor has chosen the Thin Blue Line flag unchanged.
“I appreciate Chief Tonelli’s initial intention to raise the flag. I support the message behind the action and join all who support this intention,” Kraus said. “However, I think the intention and message is best conveyed by the original Thin Blue Line flag, a solid black background with the thin blue line running through it. This design has a decades-long tradition of portraying men and women. women in blue who between law and chaos and who have made the ultimate sacrifice. ”
The mayor said he spoke with members of the Alliance of Black Families and other community leaders about the symbolism of what the flags represent.
“I understand that this topic is touching for many of us, and I encourage a growing dialogue that seeks to sow the seeds of empathy and knowledge. The display of the original Thin Blue Line flag is a measure that embodies the respect, admiration and support the heroic men and women of law enforcement deserve and have earned. But that’s just an act, ”Kraus said.“ To truly embrace the spirit of the flag, we must put these ideals into action. It means being good citizens, respecting our neighbors, and being kind to everyone around us. I believe in the Thin Blue Line. I support this original Thin Blue The Line Flag and I support everything this flag stands for. It’s a symbol of how a few brave men and women go out of their way to make the world a better place. “
You can read the mayor’s full statement here.
RELATED: Solon PD replaces ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag with commemorative flag, citing community ‘confrontational’ reaction
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