American flag design on Laguna Beach police cars causes both 'panic' and pride

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An American flag-inspired logo emblazoned across the Laguna Beach Police Department’s newest squad cars is dividing the community. (Photo: Courtesy of Twitter/Laguna Beach Police)
<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The city council of Laguna Beach, Calif. is reconsidering the design recently implemented on its new police vehicles — a prominent American flag graphic — after some community members expressed shock and concern at the “aggressive” logo.” data-reactid=”22″>The city council of Laguna Beach, Calif. is reconsidering the design recently implemented on its new police vehicles — a prominent American flag graphic — after some community members expressed shock and concern at the “aggressive” logo.

In early March, 11 Laguna Beach Police Department squad cars were rolled out. The word “police” features prominently across the side of each vehicle, painted in an Old Glory-inspired red, white and blue design. And while some in the community take pride in the patriotic look, others find it problematic.

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="One resident, designer&nbsp;Chris Prelitz, told the Times Community News that when he and his wife first noticed the new design while dining out, it was because he saw parents and children outside “scattering” around a group of patrol cars. ” data-reactid=”25″>One resident, designer Chris Prelitz, told the Times Community News that when he and his wife first noticed the new design while dining out, it was because he saw parents and children outside “scattering” around a group of patrol cars.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="There was like a little panic going on, and I was like, ‘What’s happening?’” he told the publication. “When one of [the cars is] there, it works. But all of a sudden, I saw, wow, when there are three, maybe four of them together, folks thought it was a SWAT team, federal agents. So it had a very striking, strong impact, so much so that I think there might be some unintended consequences.”” data-reactid=”26″>There was like a little panic going on, and I was like, ‘What’s happening?’” he told the publication. “When one of [the cars is] there, it works. But all of a sudden, I saw, wow, when there are three, maybe four of them together, folks thought it was a SWAT team, federal agents. So it had a very striking, strong impact, so much so that I think there might be some unintended consequences.”

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<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="At a March 19th city council meeting, several Laguna beach residents spoke up about their resistance to the new design. Carrie Woodburn, a local artist, reportedly said it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design,” which said “felt very aggressive.”&nbsp;” data-reactid=”27″>At a March 19th city council meeting, several Laguna beach residents spoke up about their resistance to the new design. Carrie Woodburn, a local artist, reportedly said it was “shocking to see the boldness of the design,” which said “felt very aggressive.” 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Woodburn later clarified her opinion on Facebook, writing, “for the record, I have no objection to the black-and-white cars.” She said the graphic was not approved by the city council, despite the council’s claim that it was collaboratively decided upon in February. .” data-reactid=”28″>Woodburn later clarified her opinion on Facebook, writing, “for the record, I have no objection to the black-and-white cars.” She said the graphic was not approved by the city council, despite the council’s claim that it was collaboratively decided upon in February. .

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“I have no issue with our American flag,” she added. “My personal observation was that it felt aggressive and may not best represent our community.”” data-reactid=”29″>“I have no issue with our American flag,” she added. “My personal observation was that it felt aggressive and may not best represent our community.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But others are on board with the American flag logo. Attorney&nbsp;Jennifer Welsh Zeiter called the decorated Ford Explorers “exceptional” at the city council meeting, and said that those who vocally oppose the design 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.”” data-reactid=”30″>But others are on board with the American flag logo. Attorney Jennifer Welsh Zeiter called the decorated Ford Explorers “exceptional” at the city council meeting, and said that those who vocally oppose the design 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.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Laguna Beach Police Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss, president of the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association, spoke at the meeting to say&nbsp;that he has only heard positive feedback about the new vehicle he drives. “Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great,” Hotchkiss said. “Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.”” data-reactid=”31″>Laguna Beach Police Cpl. Ryan Hotchkiss, president of the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association, spoke at the meeting to say that he has only heard positive feedback about the new vehicle he drives. “Every time I came to a stop sign, every time I came to a red light, somebody is telling me the car looks great,” Hotchkiss said. “Every one of our members that drives the car loves it, and we look forward to keeping them the way they are.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Mayor Steve Dicterow seemed to defend the new design, implying that the logo and the new black-and-white paint job are intentionally bold. ” data-reactid=”32″>Mayor Steve Dicterow seemed to defend the new design, implying that the logo and the new black-and-white paint job are intentionally bold.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="“This is about safety,” Dicterow said. “I want anybody to see it, period.”” data-reactid=”33″>“This is about safety,” Dicterow said. “I want anybody to see it, period.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Community members will discuss the controversial design and try to come to a resolution at a new city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday. They’re doing so “out of an abundance of caution to address questions that have been raised about the process,” said city manager John Pietig, according to the Times Community News.” data-reactid=”34″>Community members will discuss the controversial design and try to come to a resolution at a new city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday. They’re doing so “out of an abundance of caution to address questions that have been raised about the process,” said city manager John Pietig, according to the Times Community News.

On social media, community members who support the design are encouraging others to attend the meeting in order to defend the flag. Some are simply voicing their support.

And some are publicly condemning the design.

Yahoo Lifestyle has reached out to the Laguna Beach City Council and the Laguna Beach Police Department for an update on the debate.

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