SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - The Saugus High School football team brought out the "Thin Blue Line" flag ahead of the team's game on Friday, weeks after the team was told to end the tradition.
The Santa Clarita team had been bringing the flag out onto the field during its pregame ceremonies ever since 2019, after a school shooting at Saugus High that killed two students and injured three others. The tradition was started to show solidarity with law enforcement, who jumped in that day to protect more students from getting hurt. However, the flag has also been associated with white supremacists, and in September, the team was asked to end the tradition because of the flag's divisiveness.
Many associated with the school were outraged by the decision, and on Oct. 7, at the team's game against Hart, many turned out displaying the flag, even though the team did not. The team brought the flag back last Friday, Oct. 28, ahead of the team's game against Golden Valley. In video from the stands, obtained by The Signal, two players can be seen running through a banner, carrying flags — one with the American flag, one with the "Thin Blue Line" flag. The player with the black, white and blue flag then waved the banner to the crowd after getting to the team's sideline.
Back on Oct. 7, deputy superintendent for the William S. Hart Union High School District Michael Vierra told FOX 11's Cristy Fajardo that there was no ban on displaying the flag, but that after the district raised concerns about the flag, the coach told the team.
"Some people did not have the same feeling about the flag as others, so it's a tough situation because again, we're so supportive of our law enforcement," Vierra said earlier this month.
Many were disappointed when the team announced it would end the tradition. Many cheers could be heard from the stands when the flag was displayed last Friday. But others still say the "Thin Blue Line" is disrespectful.
"The American flag has [those] colors for a reason. Red, white and blue, so when you add a blue line to one of the white stripes, it obviously changes the meaning of that flag," D’Ante Von Wright told FOX 11 earlier this month. "It’s no longer the Stars and Stripes, it’s whatever they want it to be, so it’s a false flag. Flying it during a school event or any event is disrespectful to the country and the servicemen and women that came before."