What Do All The Thin Line Flags Stand For?

What Do All The Thin Line Flags Stand For?

Posted by Hayley Adams on Sep 15th 2022

As a result of the success of the Thing Blue Line flag, thin line style flags of all styles are quickly becoming popular. The striking black and white American flag with a thin colored line across it is a wonderful way to support the everyday heroes in our communities.

The Origin of Thin Blue Line

The origin of the thin blue line dates back to an 1854 battle during the Crimean War, in which a British infantry regiment, in red uniforms, stood its ground against a Russian cavalry charge. The British formation became known as the Thin Red Line.

Since then the term has risen in popularity, in the 1950's it was used in speeches by police chief's and in the 1970s and ‘80s, the phrase was popularized in books and films like, “The Thin Blue Line,” which tells the story of a man’s trial and wrongful conviction in the killing of a police officer in Dallas.

The flag itself emerged around 2014 as the Blue Lives Matter movement became more widespread and grew out of a series of instances across the nation in which police officers were killed in the line of duty. 

More Thin Lines

In addition to the police, there are other public service branches that have adopted thin line colors of their own. Flying a thin line flag shows support for the associated service branch. Shop our featured First Responders Flag today!

With so many different colors available today, one of the most frequent questions is, what do they stand for? So, here is a handy reference guide for navigating the symbolism behind all Thin Line Flags.

Thin Blue Line

The Thin Blue Line is representative of Police & Law Enforcement Officers. The color blue refers to the colors of their uniforms. 'Thin Blue Line' is a phrase that refers to the line between chaos and order, with Law Enforcement officers being that barrier between. Oftentimes, people also use the flag to remember fallen officers.

Thin Red Line

The Thin Red Line is representative of all the brave Firefighters. Red was chosen because of the color's association with fire. The phrase has evolved into ‘Thin Red Line of Courage’ due to all the Firefighters and their courageousness in the face of danger.

There is an additional Thin Red Line for Nurses. This line differs from other thin lines in that the background is white, with a red line crossing horizontally through the middle.

Thin White Line

The Thin White Line is representative of our EMTs, Paramedics, and All EMS personnel. It represents the relentless effort of the men and women that help us in times of emergency & need. Check here for moreEMS support flags.

Thin Green Line

The Thin Green Line is representative of all Federal Agents. More often than not, the Thin Green Line is attributed to the Military -- to show support for the men and women of our military. The color green was chosen as many uniforms for Federal Agents are a shade of green.

Thin Gold Line

The Thin Gold Line is representative of Emergency Dispatchers. Although they are not always thought of when referring to first responders, their support to EMS workers is said to be 'truly gold'. Gold is meant to symbolize loyalty and strength. The introduction of the Thin Gold Line flag has helped EMS dispatchers and all they do become more visible within their industry.

Thin Silver Line

The Thin Silver Line (Gray Line) is representative of Corrections Officers. The color Gray was chosen to symbolize the color of handcuffs and/or jail cell bars. The Thin Gray Line is meant to include all agents within the justice system such as, Jailers, Bailiffs and Parole Officers. This is one of the newer Thin Line styles and has gained popularity within the group it represents.

Thin Orange Line

The Thin Orange Line is representative of all Search and Rescue Personnel. These teams use highly visible uniforms, typically Orange in color so they can be easily seen. The 'Thin Orange Line' is meant to represent the dangers that Search and Rescue teams face in the line of duty.

For more supporting flag options, head over to emflag.com

A Thin Line flag is manufactured as a Thin Line flag and is not alteration of the US Flag, therefore is not in violation of the US Flag Code. If you legally acquire a US flag by purchase or gift, then alter, deface or desecrate that US flag, then you are in violation of the US Flag Code.