Laguna Beach, a city in Southern California, recently voted to keep the American flag on its police cars.
Some residents have objected to having the American flag on police vehicles due to concerns that the flag is “too aggressive” and might offend immigrants living in the community.
Despite the objections, the American flag logo will stay on Laguna Beach’s police cars as a result of a vote in the city council.
At the council meeting where the vote was reached, people were asked to raise their hand if they agreed to keep the U.S. flag on the police cars. Almost everyone in the room raised their hand. Carrie Woodburn was the only council member at the meeting who opposed the design.
Reflecting on the issue as a whole, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow stated that he respects the community residents’ right to disagree with having the design on the police vehicles due to concerns over its message to immigrants. At the same time, however, Dicterow added “I also have the right to disagree with that. I believe that the flag is a symbol of equality and of freedom, and it's that very freedom that our police are protecting."
Prior to the meeting, Dicterow told the Los Angeles Times that the council was facing “a very narrow decision” about the brightness of the colors surrounding the logo. However, the issue evolved into a deeper debate about patriotism more generally.
"Unfortunately this has devolved into a debate about what the flag means," Dicterow told Fox & Friends. Many people across the U.S. sent hundreds of emails to Dicterow mostly in support of keeping the flag design on the police cars.
Dicterow added, "Clearly, the way it looks on the car is not what anyone expected it to look like" and that "I think it's reasonable that we're going to look at it again so that whatever we (approve) is exactly what we put on the car."