Laguna Beach, CA – The Laguna Beach City Council may take off an American flag graphic that was added to the city’s police cars over complaints that the flag design was too aggressive.
City officials agreed to reconsider the decision to label the fleet of 11 police cars with the design, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” said Councilman Peter Blake, according to the Los Angeles Times. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”
Artist Carrie Woodburn said at the March 19 council meeting it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community. It feels very aggressive,” she said.
Attorney Jennifer Welsh Zeiter said at a council meeting she found the police cars “exceptional.” She questioned the loyalty of the critics of the design.
“They are so filled with hatred toward this … office of the president of the United States and the current occupant of that office, that they cannot see through their current biases to realize that a police vehicle with the American flag is the ultimate American expression,” Zeiter said, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Laguna Beach Police Corporal Ryan Hotchkiss, who is president of the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association, said he has only heard good things about the flag design.
“Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great,” Hotchkiss said at the March city council meeting, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.”
When the Laguna Beach Police Department posted the new design on its Facebook page on March 3, there was little reaction. The post received just five comments, four of which were positive.
“The paint looks great. This is America. Love it or leave it,” Jatt Mungers wrote on the police Facebook page.
“Sorry to say this but I don’t like this color at all!” Kris Howson posted, the only negative comment on the police’s post.