The police department in Laguna Beach, California, recently updated the logo on its patrol vehicles to include a large American flag.
The bright new theme has caused significant controversy. Some residents think the bright flag is “aggressive,” while others think it’s simply “patriotic.”
The department decided to repaint its 11 mostly white squad cars with the new logo in February.
“Clearly, the way it looks on the car is not what anyone expected it to look like,” Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
The argument is about more than aesthetics, though. It’s also about what the American flag symbolizes these days.
“Some of the words people used was that they felt it was threatening, intimidating, harassing and a symbol of racism,” the mayor pro tem said.
Meanwhile, a lot of people feel the exact opposite way. For them, the American flag is a symbol of pride in the country. City councilman Peter Blake called the debate over the flag a “joke.”
“This is a government vehicle driven by government employees in the United States of America,” he said. “I mean, come on. We can sit hear and talk about this stuff all day long; it’s still a joke.”
It’s unlikely that the country will come to a consensus on patriotism and the American flag anytime soon. In the meantime, the city council voted on Tuesday to keep the current American flag design on the squad cars.
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