A black and white American flag with a single red horizontal stripe below the canton is known as the Thin Red Line Flag and is used to show support for firefighters and honor those that have given their life in the line of duty.
In the rest of the article, we are going to learn about the meanings of the colors, what status the Thin Red Line Flag holds, how it got its name, and whether there is any connection to the Thin Blue Line flag.
What Is the Thin Red Line Flag?
The Thin Red Line is a variant of the flag of the United States of America that is used to support firefighters. This includes honoring firefighters who have lost their lives while performing their duties.
The Thin Red Line Flag is identical to the normal flag of the United States, but the only colors are black and white, except for a red horizontal stripe as the first long one, which is also the first one below the canton.
This red stripe represents the courage of the firefighters and the sacrifice they make, with red being a color that is often associated with the role. The black stripes and either stars or background of the canton represent the firefighters who have given their lives in the line of duty, having made the ultimate sacrifice.
The flag is often seen at fire stations or events associated with fire departments. It is also frequently flown privately by firefighters, their families, and their supporters as a show of appreciation for what they do for the communities they serve.
Is the Thin Red Line Flag Official?
No, the Thin Red Line Flag does not have any official status. It is not an official variant of the flag of the United States of America, nor does the US government recognize it as such. The Thin Red Line Flag is used to show support to firefighters and does not replace the official United States flag.
Why Is It Called the Thin Red Line Flag?
The term “thin red line” was coined by William H. Russell, who was a journalist for The Times newspaper in the United Kingdom during the Crimean War. He used it to describe a section of the 93rd (Sutherland Highlanders) Regiment of Foot who were the last two lines of defense holding enemy soldiers away from the British camp.
The expression became famous, and then it gradually started becoming figurative. Figurative variants of this expression refer to a group of people narrowly protecting the many from a threat, usually at great risk to themselves, as firefighters protect their communities from fire.
Is the Thin Red Line Flag Linked to the Thin Blue Line Flag?
The Thin Blue Line Flag is a predecessor of the Thin Red Line Flag. The Blue variant applied the expression to law enforcement and created the original design. The Red variant has an identical design, but with a red stripe instead of a blue one.