Virden Police Department
The Thin Blue Line
Many times, while driving or walking around, one might see the above images and ask “what does this mean?” One might also see a variation or two of the above. In simplest terms, the images, generally known collectively as “The Thin Blue Line” mean support of your local police and/or law enforcement in general. The history of the line is generally traced to a painting of the Battle of Balaklava in 1854 named The Thin Red Line depicting two lines of the 93rd Highlanders standing against a superior force of Russian Cavalry. A later poem by Ruyard Kipling and his "Thin red line of 'eroes" furthered the idea of a thin red line of British soldiers protecting Britain from her enemies and chaos. In the 1950’s then LAPD Chief Bill Parker paraphrased Kipling’s “Thin Red Line” in a television show produced by his department.  Chief Parker coined the term “Thin Blue Line” to further reinforce the concept of the LAPD as the barrier between law and order and civil anarchy. The phrase was further utilized in a 1960’s pamphlet printed by the Massachusetts State Government, referring to its State Police Force.  Since then, the term has spread to police departments across the United States as a symbol of police officers everywhere and their duty to protect and serve.