Results From Our Survey On The Thin Blue Line Flag
By Kristen Arute, Published: August 4, 2020
[Hingham Current News File Photo / Greg Lane]
The controversy over the removal of the Thin Blue Line Flag from the back of a Hingham Fire Engine has erupted into a divisive issue locally. The flag, which was originally put up in honor of Sgt. Chesna, came under fire when a young man wrote an email to the Board of Selectmen expressing his concerns over its presence on Town property. He described the flag as "politically charged" and said that it is and suggesting that it was "representative of the fight against Black Lives Matter."
After the Selectmen forwarded the email to the chiefs of both the police and fire departments, the decision was made to have the flag removed. However, Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 refused. The Selectmen held a meeting and received comments from the public, most of which was in support of the decision to remove the flag. Rallies were held in support of the Thin Blue Line flag being flown, and counterprotests ensued.
Once it became clear that the issue was going to remain contentious, the fire fighter's union relented and agreed to allow the Weymouth Fire Department to remove and receive the flag. Weymouth subsequently placed the flag on the back of one of their engines, and the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts are planning to tour the flag across the state and are calling upon "communities that support public safety" to become involved. Police Chief Glenn Olsson has since submitted his notice of retirement.
Tonight, the Board of Selectmen will take up the topic at their weekly meeting. People from both sides of the issue are free to call in and express their thoughts on the matter. The Selectmen may even establish a subcommittee to study the issue, in which case community members would be invited to apply.
In the meantime, results from a 3-question poll that surveyed readers of the Hingham Current captured the feelings of 1423 individuals. More results will be added to this story as they are compiled.
More information on tonight's Board of Selectmen meeting can be found by clicking here.
7:00 PM @ Remote meeting via Website: https://zoom.us/join or Zoom Call: 929-205-6099, Meeting ID: 451 213 735
On the agenda for discussion: Process for developing a flag policy
Chair Mary Power can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.