Driehaus calls raising of Thin Blue Line flag ‘provocative and inappropriate’

Driehaus calls raising of Thin Blue Line flag ‘provocative and inappropriate’
The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office drew local and national criticism for raising a Thin Blue Line flag during the weekend protests. (Source: Councilperson Chris Seelbach)

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Hamilton County Commissioner Denise Driehaus responded Monday to reports that Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies had raised a ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag over the weekend at the Hamilton County Justice Center.

“I know I am not alone in my view that flying the flag was provocative and inappropriate, especially in the context this weekend’s events," Driehaus tweeted.

“I am also not alone in my gratitude for those in law enforcement working overtime and putting themselves in danger to keep our communities safe. We need to find a way forward together that ensures that all community voices are heard and long-term solutions are found.”

The flag features a thin blue stripe covering one of the American flag’s red stripes and, according to the merchandiser’s website, is intended to inspire support for law enforcement.

It has also been associated with white nationalists. In 2017′s Charlottesville protests, for example, the flag was used by white nationalist groups to symbolize support for police and opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement, according to USA Today.

The City of Cincinnati took care to note the flag was raised by sheriff’s office deputies and not Cincinnati police officers.

The sheriff’s office explains it raised the flag Sunday after its American flag was stolen during the vandalism of the Justice Center.

“The Thin Blue Line was raised by our deputies to honor the CPD Officer who was shot,” the sheriff’s office tweeted, referring to the CPD officer whose helmet was grazed with a bullet Saturday night in Clifton. “The flag has been removed and we will replace it with the American Flag in the morning.”

That explanation did not go over well. A tweet describing the raising of the flag as “infuriating” went viral on twitter.

Meanwhile, Councilperson Chris Seelbach, who was among the first to bring attention to the issue Sunday, replied to the sheriff’s office: “Should have been replaced with American flag immediately. Not replaced with a politically charged blue lives matter flag when thousands are protesting in our streets because #BlackLivesMatter. Sheriff Neil has only made things worse. Again.”

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.