File:Thin Blue Line.svg

The Thin Blue Line is a symbol in use in the United States by law enforcement officers and others. The purpose of the symbol is a topic of debate (see "controversy" below).

The conceptual "Thin Blue Line" is derived from the historical Thin Red Line.


Proponents of the symbol assert that the identifier is intended to show support for police.

The Blue line stands for the Law Enforcement Officers. The top black part stands for The good. And the bottom black part stands for the bad. All together, the Blue Line (Law Enforcement) separating the good from the bad.[citation needed]

Opponents claim that display of Thin Blue Line emblems is used to gain favorable treatment from officers (colloquially referred to in the United States as "flashing tin", meaning presenting a badge) in order to get immunity from traffic tickets (also known as "professional courtesy"). [1] Even serious offences such as drunk driving are subject to professional courtesy "discretion", and federal law assists in the process by exempting police officers and firefighters from a federal law that requires truckers to be blood-tested after an accident.[2]

The ability to break traffic laws with impunity has led some non-police to use thin blue line bumper stickers. Some purveyors have responded by restricting their sale to people giving their department phone number and badge number, e.g.

 Thin Blue Line Decal

 This is a Law Enforcement Restricted Item

 We require proof of your status as LE before processing your order. You must provide a faxed photocopy
or scanned email copy of your current department I.D. for verification.

This has the effect of either preventing non police from showing their support of police or preventing non-police from getting out of traffic tickets, depending on which theory one believes.

Police have attempted to prevent non-police from using such stickers in order to support the police / get out of tickets by supporting laws that stop anyone but a LEO from displaying such stickers, but these laws have been struck down. [3] [4]

Intellectual Property

The design is now commonly acknowledged as part of the public domain. See Genericized trademark for explanation of Public Domain in this case.


After the popularity of the Thin Blue Line emblem for law enforcement came a number of other "thin lines".


The Gold Star attribute signifies law enforcement and military officers who have retired or are currently serving meritoriously.

See also

External links


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article The Thin Blue Line (emblem), that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Rojomoke Search for "The Thin Blue Line (emblem)" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "The Thin Blue Line (emblem)"

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