Remove thin-blue-line flags from public spaces in Germantown Hills

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In 2016, the Germantown Hills Village Board approved a motion to purchase four, thin-blue-line flags (1, 2). These flags were displayed at the following public locations: Village Hall, J.R. White Park, and at the East and West entrances to Germantown Hills along IL-116. Today, three of these flags are still flying.

Influenced by the 2014 protests in Ferguson, MO, Andrew Jacob founded Thin Blue Line USA and began distributing the thin-blue-line flag (3, 4). Since then, the flag has been adopted by the Blue Lives Matter movement (5), and flown at the “Unite the Right'” rally in Charlottesville, VA. (6). The image of the thin-blue-line flag has recently been employed by multiple police departments as a response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests (7, 8).

Because of its continued use in ways that champion white supremacy and undermine the Black Lives Matter movement, many people associate the thin-blue-line flag with racism. The surrounding controversy has resulted in the success of several legal cases and movements to remove the thin-blue-line flag from office buildings, police stations, and police cars across the country (9, 10, 11, 12). Locally, several concerned residents have called for the removal of the thin-blue-line flags in letters, protests, and Village Board meetings.

Despite these efforts, the Germantown Hills Village Board continues to choose to fly thin-blue-line flags in public spaces. 

This petition calls for the Germantown Hills Village Board to reconsider their choice to display thin-blue-line flags in public spaces. This petition asks the Germantown Hills Village Board to either 1) remove the thin-blue-line flags or 2) counter the controversial meaning of these flags by displaying support for other community members (BLM, LGBTQ+, firefighters, EMTs...) in the same manner.

By choosing to act, the Village Board would be adhering to a significant precedent set by other local governments and actively choosing to address a divisive issue. 

Sign this petition to let the Germantown Hills Village Board that you would like to see a change in the display of these flags.

*I recognize that this petition does not explore many reasons members of the Germantown Hills community may object to the thin-blue-line flags' display in public spaces. I encourage anyone who wants to expand on their reasoning to send an email to the Germantown Hills Village Board at