DENVER (KDVR) — A Colorado police chaplain is now allowed to fly a “Thin Blue Line” flag in front of his house after his homeowners association said it was in the wrong for demanding he take it down.
The chaplain said his HOA sent him a letter admitting fault for wrongfully demanding the flag’s removal.
“I’m feeling great,” the chaplain told FOX31. “This is a huge win for law enforcement. This is for all the police officers. I sure hope every police officer out there sees this as a big win for them, that they continue to do a wonderful job and they are supported.”
The “Thin Blue Line” is a symbol law enforcement uses to represent its community and those who support it. Its representation on a flag depicts a black-and-white American flag with a blue stripe at its center.
In June, the chaplain’s homeowners association sent a letter demanding that he take down what they called “the white lives matter flag,” or he would be fined.
That’s when he reached out to the FOX31 Problem Solvers for help. Our initial story got nationwide coverage and caught the attention of the National Police Association. They hired high-profile Denver attorney Craig Silverman to represent the chaplain.
“It’s very rare you get a homeowners association to admit fault, but they did here, and thank goodness for it,” Silverman said. “Certain principles survive in this country, including the right of my client to fly the flag he prefers. I’m glad for him. He has every right. I’m glad the HOA backed down.”
The HOA changed course in a recent letter to the chaplain: “The board has determined that there was no violation and that the letter was sent in error,” it reads.
Both the chaplain and his attorney hoped for an apology.
“This letter is pretty close to an apology without saying I’m sorry,” Silverman said. “Bottom line is my client as a homeowner has a right to fly that flag. It’s not bothering anybody any more than the Black Lives Matter signs that permeate his neighborhood.”
Silverman said he picked up the case because he believes in freedom of speech.
“I believe in healthy disagreement, don’t offend anybody,” Silverman said. “But there’s nothing about his flag that should be offensive. After all, during the first part of this lock-down/quarantine, everybody went to their windows and saluted police officers and first responders. It can’t turn on a dime like that.
“Of course there are some bad apples, but police are by and large good people and he had every right to show his support,” Silverman said.
The chaplain said he just wants to show his support for law enforcement and all the good men and women he works with, and he said others are starting to do the same.
“Incidentally, I was out of town for a while. I have to tell you a few more thin blue line flags have sprouted up in my neighborhood,” he said.