Laguna Beach Councilman Steve Dicterow appeared on”Fox & Friends” Monday to address the backlash his city is facing over its new patriotic police vehicles.
The Laguna Beach Police Department in California added American flag lettering to the sides of 11 patrol cars to spell out the word police, according to Fox News. Some residents, including a local artist, said the design was too “aggressive” and felt it didn’t properly represent their community.
“This really came from the police department itself,” Dicterow said. “They came to us a few months ago because our vehicles were actually white at that time without the black as well. And so they asked us to switch to black and white vehicles, which is what every other jurisdiction in Orange County, which is where we’re located, has. And they also decided to use the graphic of the flag for where it spells out police.”
“When that came to us, the graphic was not as bright as it is on the vehicles themselves,” he continued. “So in an effort to be very cautious, we’re bringing it back in front of the council again tomorrow night, because we want to make sure that what we approve is what’s in fact on the side of the cars.”
Dicterow said he supports those who are against the design, but disagrees with their negative symbolism of the American flag. (RELATED: Laguna Beach Police Cars Blasted As ‘Too Aggressive’ Over Patriotic Paint Job)
“Unfortunately this has devolved into a debate about what the flag means. What does the symbolism of the flag … And there are people in Laguna Beach, as well as elsewhere, who are saying that the flag is hostile,” he said. “It’s intimidating. It’s threatening. And that it’s a symbol of racism. I defend their right to say these things. I also have the right to disagree with that. I believe that the flag is a symbol of equality and of freedom. And it’s that very freedom that our police are protecting.”
Dicterow said the flag should be a unifying and positive force for good, instead of being branded as an evil thing.
“It’s very hard for me to understand,” Dicterow said. “For me the flag is unifying. And when you think back over the history of this country and you think about the Civil War, for example, — if you were anti-racist, are you going to run to the Confederate flag or the American flag on the field? And if it’s World War II, are you going to run to the Nazi flag or to the American flag? The American flag should be unifying and it’s values are unifying. Once again it’s freedom and equality.”
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