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Sheriff Defends Removal Of Thin Blue Line Flag

Sheriff Defends Removal Of Thin Blue Line Flag

Photo Courtesy: YouTube

After Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese ordered the flag be removed from an employee break room “because it was offensive,” social media broke out into a frenzy and now he wants to explain why he made that decision.

The issue came to light on Tuesday when the Oregon Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 posted the incident on Facebook .

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office commented on the post, saying the U.S. National Flag Code forbids alteration of the flag and “while we always honor our fallen law enforcement officers, it’s important that we do so in Court facilities in a manner that doesn’t violate established protocols.”

Many didn’t buy that explanation and now the Sheriff has clarified his reasoning and it seems to have nothing to do with the Flag Code but rather political correctness.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Reese defended his decision and said the symbol of the thin blue line flag is not universal.

“For some [the thin blue line flag] is a symbol honoring fallen law enforcement officers. For others, the flag is seen as a sign of disrespect toward communities of color,” Reese said.

The move was similar to Tulsa Fire Chief Ray Driskell in June 2017 when he ordered the removal of “blue stripes” from fire trucks because it “may send the wrong message to some people.”

Here is the full statement by Sheriff Reese:


Earlier this week, I was approached by the office of a county commissioner regarding an altered United States Flag, known as the Thin Blue Line Flag, on display in the county courthouse.

For some, it is a symbol honoring fallen law enforcement officers. For others, the flag is seen as a sign of disrespect toward communities of color.

As public safety officers, we have a tremendous responsibility to the communities we serve and to each other. I support honoring our fallen officers in a way that respects the sacrifice they made and the communities they served.

Along with that, organizational esprit de corps and respect for one another must be preserved in order to work together as a team in service to our community.

As a 27-year law enforcement officer, I strongly support our public safety officers and speak often of their courage, integrity and commitment to service. I am keenly aware that they put their lives in harm’s way each and every day to protect those who live in and visit Multnomah County.

The community concerns raised, led me to ask that the flag be removed while we consider whether or not it is appropriate to display any altered United States Flag inside a County-owned facility.

During a meeting with staff earlier today, I ask them to work with me to resolve these issues by determining how and where to display the flag in a manner that will honor fallen law enforcement officers and also meet the expectations of our community.


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  1. Brownknight

    The same people who hate this flag, and I said “hate”,………..not “are offended” are the people who trod on, burn and hate the American flag. Caving to anarchist opinion. Really? Grow a set.

  2. ahaz

    It’s a desecration of the US flag…period!

  3. bumpper

    The expression “Thin Blue Line” originated from the police being described as the thin blue line between civilization and anarchy. If any law abiding person is offended by this, I would be surprised. Those that are offended by this are criminals, artifa types and the scum who have no respect for authority and the rule of law. They fail to appreciate what would happen in the absence of the police. The movie Purge might be a good illustration of just that.

  4. Randy Beall

    another alt-left hack. Not to offend the community but could care less about offending his (maybe not) fellow officers.

  5. Michael Wratten

    Whats offensive is this Sheriff not supporting his troops – NO Backbone

  6. MCB0B

    It’s Portland. What do you expect?

  7. Katrina

    Are the blue lights on my house to be turned off because they offend someone? Are we to stop flying the Stars and Stripes because the Colon Kaepernick is offended? Anyone can be (or say) they are offended by anything. Now statues of people from the Revolutionary war are being destroyed. When are we going to stand up to this insanity and say enough is enough?
    I would not feel well protected in this Sheriff’s jurisdiction. His position requires a man or woman with a spine, not puppet strings attached to his appendages. This Sheriff is quite obviously an eunich.

  8. Ljubica48

    “For some [the thin blue line flag] is a symbol honoring fallen law enforcement officers. For others, the flag is seen as a sign of disrespect toward communities of color,” Reese said.

    That statement seems to be blatant racist stereotyping, as Reese presumes to say that communities of color are not supportive of law enforcement and not appreciative of the sacrifices that police officers make in keeping their communities safe. He is impugning communities of color by stereotyping them with criminality, as antithetical to law and order, rather than as law abiding citizens that support law and order and support the police. I’m curious as to whether the person from the county commission was engaging in the same ugly racist stereotyping. This is an entirely inappropriate statement of racist bigotry by the sheriff. Where do we file the IAD complaint to address this racism and sign of disrespect for communities of color by Reese?

  9. bilgerat57

    A Sheriff with no moral courage is a sad thing indeed. Snowflake excuses cannot hide the lack of a spine……..

  10. Donn Pratt

    wow! spineless wussy. how in the world did you get to be a sheriff??

  11. Chief72

    who stole your nuts?

  12. Jack Spencer

    What would you expect from one of the most liberal counties on the left coast?

  13. S. Libby Cyr

    Utter BS that this is “disrespect” toward anybody, but rather a concentrated effort to be SURE there is nothing that is just for respecting LEOs!!!!! Total BS political bullshit!!!

  14. Rod Gregg

    There is always a “legitimate” reason lurking in obscurity to justify an politically-expedient decision.

  15. LegalBeagle

    I am glad to do not have to live or work in that community. He is a low functioning buffoon, devoid of moral courage.

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