HINGHAM (CBS) — The Hingham Fire Department is removing their Thin Blue Line flags which were being displayed leading up to the anniversary of Weymouth Sgt. Michael Chesna‘s death.

The department said while they bought the flags to show support for police and Chesna, the flags “have taken a different political meaning, which might be offensive to some.”

Due to the town’s policy forbidding any political messaging on town property, the department said the flags will need to be removed.

“We have always shared a great working relationship with the police department, and they don’t need a sticker, or flag, to realize that we have each other’s back during troubling times,” the department’s statement concluded. It was signed by Fire Cheif Steve Murphy and Police Chief Glenn Olsson.

A Hingham fire truck with the thin blue line flag (Photo credit: Hingham Firefighters Local 2398)

However, some do not agree with the decision. “It’s a shame that that little particular line is more important than the man’s life,” said one man when asked about the decision.

Others say a compromise is a good answer. “You know the black lives matter movement is important, too, and it’s important to honor police officers, too, that die in the line of duty,” said a woman asked about the decision. “Maybe they can put both up.”

The Hingham Firefighters Local 2398 also released a statement in response to the request. They wrote on Facebook: “We continued to fly the flags after the anniversary in support of the law enforcement officers in our own community, as well as all law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day. At NO TIME, was this meant to be a political statement in any way. Nor was it an attempt to show support for, or against, any specific political party or advocacy group…While the members of Local 2398 are not pleased with the decision to remove the flags, we will continue our unwavering support for all the men and women of law enforcement who bravely protect their communities day in and day out.”

Comments (17)
  1. JimStark says:

    Hingham was a smart time, but those times are apparently gone

  2. Heather says:

    HFD, you are a disgrace!

  3. Johnny says:

    So, it’s probably safe to assume Hingham would be amenable to a large Chapter 40B development. We’ll be looking for approval signatures from people with BLM signs on their lawns. Please answer your door.

  4. Cold War Warrior says:

    There are some of us who consider the blue line flag a desecration of the US flag.

    The provision of the Flag Code that the Blue Line flag violates:

    “The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.”

    Violation of the Flag Code originally contained a criminal penalty of a fine and up to one year in jail. But in 1990, in U.S. v. Eichman, addressing flag burning, the Supreme Court invalidated the federal law against flag desecration as violating free speech under the First Amendment. The current amended U.S. Flag Code has no penalty provision and is considered advisory flag etiquette.

    1. Sigmund Derman says:

      I used to think the same. But subsequent to the SC decision people started doing all sorts of things, some very disrespectful, to our flag. Though I would prefer that the police not use our flag in this way, it seems to be one of the better adaptations of it and I can live with it as a reminder that the police perform invaluable services for our country. There are, as they say, “bad apples” among them, I believe that the percentage of “bad apples” among the police is considerably lower than the percentage of “bad apples” found among school teachers, college professors, attorneys, medical doctors and nurse. The number of people killed yearly by medical malpractice, for example, has been estimated to be far in excess of the number killed by murders or auto accidents. Though it is hard to tell whether any of these figure are accurate, it would not surprise me if mistakes by doctors and nurses were disproportionately severe in the black population, though I have no proof of that. I appreciate the work that the police do even though I know they are imperfect and various reforms are indicated.


    While I have great respect for all fire departments and all that you do, I now have less for HFD for taking this stance. I never would have thought we would come to first responders being afraid to show respect for fellow first responders.

  6. Jim Perry says:

    Shame on you HFD, I hope if there is a break in at your house the police will think twice abou going

  7. Robert Reid says:

    You want to remove Political Statements? Then focus on removing Black Lives Matter movement propaganda… This movement’s sanctioned, sheltered and potected Racism and engagement with illegal activities across the country is what needs to be stripped from all cities in the U.S.A. Stop turning everything upside down…Our Police deserve our support and appreciation.

    1. JimStark says:

      Well said Robert. It is sad that so many woke fools are too stupid to see BLM for what it is.

  8. Joanne says:

    I am sickened by this response and apology. I am an ordinary citizen fighting for police and firefighters and will continue to do so to my grave. What’s next? May as well take the American flag off also.

  9. Sigmund Derman says:

    I think that is an unfortunate decision. Do the majority of the people in Hingham really want that? Displaying support for the police is not a political statement. It is a statement of respect for people who are among the most dedicated and courageous public servants that this country has. They save the lives of people of all races and creeds every day.

  10. Karen Bowen says:

    Why hasn’t the person that complained been interviewed to explain his reasoning? He should have to answer.

    1. JR says:

      You may or not not be a fan of Turtleboy Sports, but they identify the person who complained… its should come as little surprise that it came from a 19-year snowflake who knows everything. Again whether you like turtleboy or not, its all there and its everything you could have guessed..

  11. Bill Begley says:

    HFD is a disgrace. Grow a backbone and stand up to political correctness.

  12. Kate says:

    HFD and the Town have no decency or honor. What is wrong with honoring those who gave their life? You are more concerned that a few people may be offended than the feelings or grief of brave individuals and their families who gave their all? Apparently you no longer respect anyone and we no longer live in America.

  13. Paul says:

    It’s time for the chief’s of the Hingham Fire & Police Departments to grow a set of brass balls and stand up for their rank & file. Chief’s……..remember your rank and file can make you shine. They always have and always will.

  14. Maria says:

    As an older member of the SILENT MAJORITY, I was proud to see the respect the Hingham Fire Department has for the police. It is sad that the “lunatic fringe” keeps running things and the “ball-less” politicians oblige them.

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