• tami@southerngritandgrain

The Thick Blue (As Well As The Other Colors) Line

Although it is actually called "The Thin Blue Line", I consider it a great deal thicker. Not because of the actual numbers or size of that line but because of their determination, bravery and sacrifice. That line represents law enforcement's separation of order from chaos. In 1911 Nels Dickmann Anderson used the term, in a poem titled "The Thin Blue Line." In the poem, the phrase is used to refer to the United States Army, alluding to the Thin Red Line, the British Army, and to the fact that US Army soldiers wore blue uniforms from the eighteenth century through the nineteenth century. In the 1950s, LAPD Chief ,Bill Parker, used the phrase in the department-produced television show of the same name and explained, the thin blue line, representing the LAPD, was the barrier between law and order and social and civil anarchy. By the early 1970s, the term had spread to police departments across the United States but use of the term became especially widespread following the release of a 1988 documentary film, "The Thin Blue Line" by Errol Morris about the murder of a Dallas Police officer, Robert W. Wood. Judge Don Metcalfe, who presided over the trial of the accused, was deeply moved and states in the film that prosecutor "Doug Mulder's final argument was one I'd never heard before: about the 'thin blue line' of police that separate the public from anarchy." In 1993, Blue Line Productions, Inc., created a symbol, for the law enforcement profession that is now recognized nationally. They state, "Our goal was to further the bond that naturally occurs within the law enforcement community." This symbol, called The Blue Line Identifier, is black "for our fallen brothers and sisters and blue for our integrity, vigilance and dedication." Although Blue Line Productions only sell to law enforcement, that symbol has come to mean much to many.

Over the years, additional service branches

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have adopted this symbol and replaced the blue with a different color to represent their field. These vocations are made up of those that become a bulwark, barrier or defensive wall for the rest of us. They are made up of Firefighters, EMS, Border Patrol, Dispatch and many other professions as well as each branch of the Military. They run towards danger, become a shield, place their life on the line, run into flying bullets or burning buildings, triage effectively, search tirelessly, sleep fitfully, shoulder much stress, paid poorly, see much darkness and make tremendous sacrifices.

Yes, for the "symbol" itself a thin line is shown but I consider it actually much, much wider than any of us see with our eye.

Thank you to all those that serve as that thick line.


(For this reason and that of solidarity, I love to incorporate this "line" into my designs and will continue to add more.)