The previous flag was taken down after the city was contacted by concerned citizens that it was, or could cause, a “divisive and unhealthy reaction” within their very diverse city, because they say some extremist groups had begun using the flag at demonstrations.
Both the mayor and the police department felt it was alienating them from the community, who they are committed to protect and serve, so the decision was made to take the flag down.
However, almost immediately, the city began receiving calls from equally concerned citizens over the optics of removing the flag and that it could show a lack of support for police.
“The last few days we did a lot of research and the one thing we wanted to do is put the correct flag up that honors the men and women of the police department,” said Mayor Kraus. “So we found the original thin blue line flag, which we wanted to make sure we put the correct flag up, the original flag, one that does not have any political connections to it.”
The original flag, which actually has ties to and dates back to the Civil War, was raised Friday.
Unlike the previous flag, the original flag is all black with one blue line through the center of it.
“That was always the intention to make sure we properly honor safety forces,” said Mayor Kraus, “Honoring the men and women who lost their lives.”
Lt. Bill Vajdich of the Solon Police Department said police appreciate the support from the community.