The crime-related headlines about Germantown, Maryland, could be a testament to those routinely published for D.C.

“Man found dead.” “Police seek two suspects in attempted robbery.” “Teen charged as adult for drug deal.” “Human remains found.” “Man arrested for raping three women.”

Yet the politician chiefly responsible for ensuring public safety in Germantown has decided to backhand law enforcers and effectively stifle their free speech.

Yep, you’ve probably learned that Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich barred officers from displaying the Thin Blue Line Flag, a symbol of unity within the Montgomery County Police Department to serve, protect and defend the public.

He said some people were offended by the symbol.

That we, the media, are even reporting this flag story is another sign of our misunderstood times. Mr. Elrich, a Democrat, conceded as much Monday, saying “I think this is really complicated.”

What’s complicated?

That Mr. Elrich accused the Blue Lives Matters movement, which its black, white and blue lined flag and decals, and said they “appropriated” the Black Lives Matter movement?

Hmm. This is why we need to talk.

Mr. Elrich, 70, was raised in Montgomery County and has been a public servant most if not all of his adult life. He has largely used or depended on taxpayers and voters to become county executive.

When developers didn’t see his vision, or he couldn’t or wouldn’t envision theirs, he wagged his finger and said “no, no, no.”

Fine. That’s his political prerogative. No problem.

His ornery biased position, though, delays inevitable development — a problematic consequence for roads, public transit and small businesses.

It also could inflame relations with taxpayers, voters and the governor, Larry Hogan, a commonsense pol who appreciates the weight Montgomery County (the state’s most populous) carries in the everyday lives Marylanders.

Mr. Hogan said this weekend he was “offended and disgusted” by Mr. Elrich’s flag ban. Good for him.

It seems Mr. Elrich, again, failed to envision what the Thin Blue Line Flag actually represents.

The flag symbolizes what has long been the target of law-and-order antagonists, and that is law enforcers.

And that’s why the rank-and-file, police unions and sheriffs are flagging Mr. Elrich’s decision, as they should.

The flag merely says, “Salute us, please and thanks, because we respond when you need us.”

Who is Mr. Elrich going to call when crime and chaos erupt? Black Lives Matter or the men and women of the thin blue line?


In other words, their “blue” lives should always matter.

⦁ Deborah Simmons can be contacted at

© Copyright (c) 2019 News World Communications, Inc.


This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.

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