“The Thin Blue Line.”

You see it everywhere these days. From minivans bumpers to a flag flying in a front yard, to shirts, hats, license plates, and even tattoos. There are people that use the Thin Blue Line as a backdrop to the mantra “Blue Lives Matter.” And recently, you may have even seen members of some alleged hate groups fly the flag as an “anti-Black Lives Matter” symbol. But what does the Thin Blue Line actually signify? Why is it so meaningful to a section of society? And, since an alleged racist organization used it in a rally should it now be deemed a racist symbol and banned from society?

As a police officer for the better part of the last decade, I stood as a small part of that Thin Blue Line (TBL). In some of my assignments, I was the sole Thin Blue Line present when incidents occurred. Once, I was seriously injured while performing my duties as a part of that line. At times, I felt the sheer weight of the symbology on my back and in others, I felt a true brotherhood. 

But, what led to this simple black space with a blue line in the center being a “thing” anyway? Let’s take a quick peek into the origins of the TBL.