Air Force explains why it removed ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag photos from its social media pages

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An Air Force Security Forces unit in Germany is backtracking after they were pressured to take down a photo depicting an Airman participating in an event with a “Thin Blue Line” flag.

Attempting to show solidarity with law enforcement, the unit took the photo off their social media page after determining the flag had not been approved by the Defense Department to be flown at military installations. 

“Team Ramstein,” the post began. “Earlier this evening, we shared a series of photos in support of our base Defenders as part of Police Week. Defenders from multiple units participated in a 24-hour ruck/run march to celebrate our Airmen who protect our installation and community. These photos were only intended to show praise for their hard work and military service.”

“The photos did, however, violate the Department of Defense Policy regarding the use of flags on military installations,” the post continued. “For this, we take full responsibility. All of our Airmen are our greatest asset, and supporting them requires mutual respect, responsibility, and accountability. We have reviewed policy and will ensure content on Ramstein Air Base’s Facebook page is a true reflection of DoD and US Air Force values.”

Needless to say, the backlash was pretty severe. 

“So, it was ok in the past but not now?” asked David Andre. “Sad day when our military panders to the whims of political cry babies.”

“How pathetic,” responded Justin Nicholas. “I’m sure your Defenders truly feel supported now after this nonsense. I sure wouldn’t.”

The May 11 post was in reference to a photo involving an Airman carrying the flag while in uniform during a 24-hour ruck march to celebrate National Police Week.

According to the Stars and Stripes, the photos drew immediate condemnation by some in the community who equate the flag with racism and allegations of police brutality against certain minority groups.

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