Golden Valley, MN – The police chief of Golden Valley, who took the helm of the department just six months ago, made a public apology for posting a Thin Blue Line flag image to social media for National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green posted the flag image on Jan. 9 in a message acknowledging and thanking Golden Valley police officers for their service to the community, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
But on Jan. 13, Chief Green shared to the police department’s official Facebook page an apology for the post honoring his officers.
He said the post had been meant in a positive way but acknowledged that some residents were offended by the Thin Blue Line flag and he apologized for using the police support symbol in his message.
“Our social media post also included an image of the thin blue line flag,” the police chief wrote. “While the post was intended to thank our police officers, it appears the image offended some who viewed it. For this, I sincerely apologize.”
“For many, the thin blue line flag has always represented a way to honor the commitment we make as first responders to protect our community,” Chief Green’s post to the police department’s official Facebook page continued. “It is disappointing that in recent years the flag’s positive intention has been tarnished with divisive undertones and actions. We do not want to promote these negative connotations.”
The police chief included information about the history of the Thin Blue Line flag and its origins in his post and encouraged those who were offended to read up on it.
He said that it was his duty to acknowledge and thank his officers on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day and to make the public aware of important days honoring police.
But Chief Green also said in his message that he didn’t want to offend anyone in the process.
“In the future, the Golden Valley Police Department will use images that do not bring unwarranted controversy between the police and the public,” he wrote.
The police chief, who became top cop in June of 2022, took heat from outraged residents who disagreed with his apology.
Some posted Thin Blue Line images and more social media criticism of Chief Green.
“Full support for the Golden Valley Police Department & every other LE agency around the country,” @MissElizabethA tweeted on Thursday morning. “This extremely weak ‘chief’ needs to resign. He’s part of the problem, and gave his officers a reason to be ashamed/ embarrassed of him. These folks stepped up to risk their lives.”
“As a MN resident, I will avoid any business in Golden Valley. Your cowering to a few at the expense of law enforcement,” @GerryPo tweeted.
Some critics pointed to a broader, nationwide trend of banning symbols of support for law enforcement because anti-police citizens were offended.
Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) banned the Thin Blue Line flag from being publicly displayed in police department buildings this week because someone complained that the flag honoring fallen heroes represented “violent, extremist views.”
“Yesterday, we received a community complaint of the presence of a Blue Line Flag” with “the view that it symbolized support for violent extremist views, such as those represented by the Proud Boys and others,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore explained in an email to FOX News.
“I directed to have the item taken down from the public lobby,” the chief’s email continued. “The U.S. flag should be proudly displayed in our lobbies whenever possible. Memorials for our fallen are also authorized in all public spaces.”
He said that the Thin Blue Line flag displayed in the lobby of an LAPD police station had sparked a complaint, FOX News reported.
So Chief Moore ordered all the Thin Blue Line flags honoring fallen heroes to be removed from public areas.
“It’s unfortunate that extremist groups have hijacked the use of the ‘Thin Blue Line flag’ to symbolize their undemocratic, racist, and bigoted views,” the police chief said.
He said that officers could still display the Thin Blue Line flag on “their workspace, locker door, or personal vehicle,” according to FOX News.