Nellie’s a gay bar in Washington, D.C., was forced to apologize Saturday for hanging up a “Blue Lives Matter” flag outside its establishment after a group of gay police officers held a meeting there. The blue flag angered some people who claimed it was offensive to the Black Lives Matter movement and represented “anti blackness.”
Representatives of police departments across the country and an organization that manufactures and distributes the flag have said repeatedly that the flag was never intended to be used as a symbol of discrimination or racial injustice.
“The thin blue line stands for the sacrifice law enforcement officers of this nation make each day,” USA Today quoted Thin Blue Line, an organization that distributes the flags “We reject in the strongest possible terms any association of our flag with racism, hatred, and bigotry,” the organization told USA Today. “To use it in this way tarnishes what it and our nation believe in.”
Drew Ambrogi an organizer of No Justice, No Pride one of the groups behind the gay pride protests of the past few years told the Washington Blade the group learned about the flag being displayed at Nellie’s when one of its members walked past the bar last Friday and saw it hanging from a flag pole.
“We saw it as an issue and we posted about it pretty quickly,” Ambrogi said
“We now understand that flying this flag — at this point in time, in particular — was at best tone deaf, and at worst offensive. We sincerely apologize to our customers and our neighbors for this egregious mistake, and want to assure you that this flag will never fly at Nellie’s again. What it represents to you is not what we want to represent, or what we want our bar to be,” the D.C. establishment said in a statement posted to Facebook Nellie’s said it would be sending a donation to No Justice No Pride.
In 2008, state and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 million people on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers.