American Flag Design on Police Cars Generates Backlash in California City

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
April 14, 2019US News
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American Flag Design on Police Cars Generates Backlash in California City
(Laguna Beach Police Department)

A southern California Police department is attracting both praise and anger from Laguna Beach residents because of the new star-spangled graphic combined with the word “police” on the sides of its patrol vehicles, according to LA Times.

“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” said Councilman Peter Blake. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”

Local artist Carrie Woodburn went to the podium at the March 19 council meeting and said it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design.”

“We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community,” Woodburn said. “It feels very aggressive.”

Attorney Jennifer Welsh Zeiter said at the last council meeting that she thought the police cars were “exceptional” and questioned the loyalty of anyone who objected to the showing of the American flag.

“They are so filled with hatred toward this … office of the president of the United States and the current occupant of that office, that they cannot see through their current biases to realize that a police vehicle with the American flag is the ultimate American expression,” expressed Welsh.

“Folks thought it was a SWAT team, federal agents,” designer Chris Prelitz said. “So it had a very striking, strong impact, so much so that I think there might be some unintended consequences.”

Laguna Beach Police Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss, president of the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association, said he had received positive feedback only.

“Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great,” said Hotchkiss. “Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.”

Next week the council will decide whether to continue with the design or choose an alternative. The cars will remain black and white however, City Manager John Pietig said.

Laguna Beach is a city of about 23,000 residents, some 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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