The town of York in Maine is caught up in controversy over a thin blue line flag.
The black and white American flag with a horizontal thin blue line in the middle represents the honoring of law enforcement.
It was put up by the son of Charlie Black, a Maine State Trooper who was fatally shot during a response to a bank robbery in South Berwick, Maine, on July 9, 1964.
“That was a really tough time for my family,” Charlie told News Center Maine. “The family changes forever.”
“It not only represents our family’s loss, but it represents all officers lost.”
But some residents didn’t share the same feelings.
“A resident came in and said there’s a problem,” York Town Manager Steve Burns said, adding that the resident argued that “This is a flag that represents segregation and discrimination.”
Burns called the Black family and told them about the concerns, saying that Black’s widow, Mary Black Andrews was hit hard by the news.
“This is just ripping a wound in her heart,” Burn said.” It was pure instant emotion for her and her whole family.”
Mary Black told Burns she would ask Charlie Black to take down the flag, and the son of the Trooper did so, expressing his anger, “This is not a racist white supremacist symbol, and I’m angry it’s portrayed that way,” he said.
Charlie Black wanted to honor his father, a Maine State Trooper killed in the line of duty, put up the flag. But some people in town consider it to be racist. https://t.co/sTMJH2t8u6
— Derek Thayer (@Photog_DT) July 26, 2019
Mary Black Andrews said she had no intention of causing divisions, “God forbid we should offend anyone,” she said. “It bothers me tremendously. It’s the anniversary of his death. He gave his life to protect the public, and I gave my life to this town, and we can’t even celebrate this person. I’m sorry I offended them. It’s coming down and it won’t happen again,” she said, according to Law Enforcement Today.
Charlie Black, son of slain officer, calls for civility following heated debate in York, Maine. “Thin blue line” flag intended to honor his father was taken down by family after concerns were raised because white nationalists have used the flag as well. https://t.co/1RQXVCPvyG
— Seacoastonline.com (@seacoastonline) July 30, 2019
Charlie Black told Sea Coast Online on July 29 that it is “time to move forward, be positive and stop the name-calling,” days after he removed the flag.
“I hope we can discuss this civilly. A lot of comments on social media really haven’t been civil and they’re not healthy for the town,” he said. Adding that, “the thin blue line symbol belongs to us and we’re not going to let anyone hijack it. We’re not giving it up.”
10-Year-Old Boy Runs a Mile for ‘Every Fallen Police Officer’ with Blue Lives Matter Flag
In any place where people come together to live as one community, historically, authorities and law enforcement have been called upon by us to step forward to protect us. And for those who answer the call, all too often, that sworn responsibility means paying the ultimate price.
One young Florida boy, 10-year-old Zechariah Cartledge, decided that he wanted to recognize the police officers of his own community to make sure everyone properly appreciated what those law enforcement officers do … after he recently heard about something terrible that had happened to them.
Zechariah had recently learned that two members of the local Police Department had been killed on the job—and so, he was inspired to run a mile “for every fallen officer in both 2018 and 2019,” according to his father, Chad Cartledge.
Zechariah’s family shared his story on Facebook, explaining that the runs aren’t “for comments, likes or views.”
“He runs because he truly cares about our First Responder’s and wants to make sure they know that what they do is appreciated. That is why he runs.”
The Epoch Times reporter Cat Bolton contributed to this report.