‘They are so filled with hatred toward this…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The police department’s decision to display the American flag on its vehicles sparked backlash in Laguna Beach, Calif. as residents argued the design could offend immigrants.
Town officials agreed to reconsider their decision to paint the American flag on the police department’s 11 squad cars after receiving criticism from residents.
The new design shows the American flag running through the word “police” on the car doors.
“People are screaming that the American flag on a police car is somehow or another … hurting people’s feelings who might be immigrants or visitors,” Councilman Peter Blake told the Los Angeles Times. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”
Laguna Beach local and artist Carrie Woodburn said the new design was “shocking” and didn’t accurately represent the community.
“We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community,” she said. “It feels very aggressive.”
Attorney Jennifer Welsh Zeiter defended the patriotic display and said those who attacked the symbol were doing so for political reasons.
“They are so filled with hatred toward this … office of the president of the United States and the current occupant of that office,” she said, “that they cannot see through their current biases to realize that a police vehicle with the American flag is the ultimate American expression.”
Laguna Beach Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss said residents’ complaints are unfounded and rare.
“Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great,” Hotchkiss said at a city council meeting in March. “Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.”