Adding flags to California police cars sparks divisions

The decision to paint an American flag graphic to the side of freshly painted Laguna Beach, Calif., police cars is dividing residents, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Officials will reconsider this Tuesday their February decision to paint the Laguna Beach Police Department’s fleet of 11 cars after hearing criticism from residents who said during a March hearing the flag was too aggressive.

Artist Carrie Woodburn said in March it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design” when the newly painted Ford Explorers rolled out, according to the Times.

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“We have such an amazing community of artists here, and I thought the aesthetic didn’t really represent our community,” Woodburn said. “It feels very aggressive.”

Others voiced their support for the design.

“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 said, according to the Times. “People are actually ridiculous enough to bring up comments about our cop cars having American flags on them.”

“They are so filled with hatred toward this ... office of the president of the United States and the current occupant of that office that they cannot see through their current biases to realize that a police vehicle with the American flag is the ultimate American expression," Attorney Jennifer Welsh Zeiter said, per the Times.

City Manager John Pietig said earlier this month that the city council would reconsider the logo “out of an abundance of caution to address questions that have been raised about the process.”