Mid June, Nevada Highway Patrol leadership implemented a ban on symbols affiliated with far-right extremist groups, then quickly reversed the ban after criticism that it was overly broad by an employee union, according to The Nevada Independent.
The initial ban from Nevada Highway Patrol Colonel Dan Solow on Monday, June 15 included stickers, patches, decals and body art with symbols of “The Punisher” or “Blue Lives Matter” flags. Within 48 hours, the ban was partially reversed to allow “Blue Lives Matter” flags and the “thin blue line concept” but still deny “The Punisher” skull symbol or “symbols of extreme groups.”
The initial email by Colonel Solow cited the recent events in the country and attention from social media. Solow stated, “we, as executives, need to take a hard look at our agency and the relationship our agency has with the communities we serve.”
The “thin blue line” idea originated from a 1854 British battle formation where soldiers in red uniforms formed a “thin red line” against Russian cavalry. Now, Thin Blue Line USA is a company that sells pro-police flags and other merchandise.
“Symbols can offend people because of what they stand for or mean,” Solow said in the email. “Symbols can also identify people, such as law enforcement officers, making them targets for negative speech and other conduct. As a public entity, we have a responsibility to remain apolitical and not support or oppose political movements or ideas in our official capacity.”
The matter remains as mentioned, banning most symbols related to other political agendas but still allowing police to display “Blue Lives Matter” flags and the “thin blue line” concept.