By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Del City residents and city leaders appear to have found common ground about a controversial flag.
For several years, the police department has flown a “Thin Blue Line” outside of the police station. The flag features a black-and-white American flag with a blue stripe across the middle. It is seen as a symbol of support and unity for police officers, while others believe it’s divisive and violates flag codes.
The city council discussed the contentious issue during an Aug. 4 meeting but did not take formal action. Several people spoke in support and against the decision to fly the flag.
Two residents, who had opposed the flag, returned to the city council last week with compromise. Walter Jacques and Claudia Browne presented the council with an alternative version of the “Thin Blue Line” flag that features a solid black background with a blue stripe in the middle. The flag does not resemble an American flag.
“We’d like to ask the police department to fly this flag and not the one with the American Flag,” Jacques told the council. “This is what State Rep. Andy Fugate called a ‘collaboration and not a compromise.’”
It was the fifth time that Jacques had discussed the “Thin Blue Line” flag at a city council meeting since July.
Interim Police Chief Lloyd Berger accepted the new flag from Jacques. He switched out the flag shortly after the meeting.
Maj. Michael Arterbery confirmed the police department’s decision to change the flag.
“It’s still good to find common ground,” Arterbury said. “Everyone kind of got what they wanted.”
Mayor Floyd Eason said he appreciated Berger and the police department for their decision.
“I appreciate him [Berger] making that decision,” Eason said. “It calms down the resistance to the old flag and it’s a happy compromise. I’m very proud of the police department and the way they have handled this.”
Jacques said he appreciated the police department for accepting the new flag. He called it a “win win” for everybody.
“The police get to keep a ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag and it doesn’t incorporate an American flag in the design,” he said.