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Thin Line Flag MeaningsPopularized by the eye-catching black and white American flag with a thin blue line running across it, thin line flags are a beautiful way to support the everyday heroes in your community. The colored stripe symbolizes the thin line between the public and the danger they hold at bay.

Although the "thin line" phrase was originally coined in the 1880s signifying the red color of the British Army uniforms. The first use of the thin blue line was used in 1911 in a poem by Nels Dickmann Anderson referring to the United States Army.

In the 1950s, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Bill Parker coined the term “thin blue line” as the barrier between law and order, and social and civil anarchy. By the early 1970s, the term had spread to police departments across the U.S. Use of the term became especially widespread following the release of Errol Morris’s 1988 documentary, “The Thin Blue Line.”

In addition to the police, eight other public service branches have adopted thin line colors of their own, including the thin red line flag of the fire department. Flying a thin line flag shows support for the associated service branch, noted below:



Service Branch It Honors

Thin Blue Line Flags
Thin Blue Line
Police Officers
Thin Red Line Flags
Thin Red Line
Thin Green Line Flag
Thin Green Line
Federal agents, Park Rangers, Wildlife Officers, Border Patrol
Thin Gold Line Flag
Thin Gold Line
911 Operators, Police Dispatchers
Thin Yellow Line Flag
Thin Yellow Line
Security Guards, Security Personnel, Tow Truck Drivers*
Thin Orange Line Flag
Thin Orange Line
Search and Rescue, EMT Personnel
Thin Purple Line Flag
Thin Purple Line
Politicians Who Experienced Violence
Thin Silver Line Flag
Thin Silver Line
Corrections Officers
Thin White Line Flag
Thin White Line
Emergency Medical Services

*The towing industry has adopted the Thin Yellow Line

Our blue and red thin line flags are designed in two different ways: a black and white American flag with a single colored stripe; or as a pure black flag with a single, slightly wider colored stripe. Flag and Banner is proud to offer both thin line flag designs. The black and white American thin line flag is available custom made with other color choices.

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