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American flag restored to Town Common after Thin Blue Line flag removed by police

by | Jul 3, 2024 | Featured: News, Featured: Police & Fire, News

Flag at Town Common gazebo

An American flag hangs from the gazebo at the Town Common on Wednesday evening. PHOTO/JERRY SPAR

The American flag once again is flying on the Town Common after having been replaced with a Thin Blue Line flag by an unknown person, according to a spokesperson for the Hopkinton Police Department.

“I had officers investigate this report,” stated Lt. Scott van Raalten in a July 3 email to the Independent. “There was an American flag draped on the railing of the gazebo and the flag that you described hanging from one of the pillars. It is my understanding that flag has been flown on the gazebo for some time.”

Added van Raalten: “I had the officers remove the blue flag and replace it with the American flag that was on the railing.”

He did not comment on whether there were any suspects or the reasoning behind the American flag’s displacement.

The Thin Blue Line flag, which is black and white with a blue center stripe, has been used to show solidarity with police across the country. The blue line is meant to illustrate the line between law and order and chaos. But others have used it as a symbol of white supremacy over the past several years, according to an article on politico.com.

Old Glory will be in place as Hopkinton celebrates Independence Day with the July 4 Horribles Parade. Floats will use political satire in their designs, with the theme being “America the Beautiful.” State Rep. James Arena-DeRosa is serving at the parade’s grand marshal. The parade begins at noon at the Park Street side of the Town Common.

This incident comes at a time when racial tensions have escalated in Hopkinton. Select Board member Shahidul Mannan at the April 16 Select Board meeting said that he and his family were subjected to racist hostility.

Mannan, along with the other members of the board during the previous term, has come under fire over the several few months from a vocal group of residents furious over the board’s decision to terminate the employment of Hopkinton Police Sgt. Tim Brennan earlier this year. The group started a recall petition for all Select Board members, and individuals have expressed their ire at several Select Board meetings.


  1. anonymous

    The brazen bullying, intimidation, and vandalism done on behalf of what is rather clearly Tim Brennan and his supporters has become an absolute crisis in our town, and it has become extremely alarming to see it go largely underdiscussed and waved off. After the loudermill hearing, you could not talk about police in our town without Billy Brennan leaping out of the bushes to yell at you. Select Board members have had tires slashed and cars keyed, and protest posters have been plastered on the chiefs car. All the meanwhile supposed “unbiased” journalists and newly elected professional politicians are busy trying to whip up a non-scandal to tar any criticism of Mr. Brennan. The police chief should ask the middlesex DA, or refer to another prosecutor like we previously did, to open a criminal investigation into Tim Brennan and co.

    And it is not like the press is going to save us. The independent has been good at actually covering these incidents but generally avoids going too deep on the more thorny issue of making the pointed criticism of who is doing this and why. HopNews appears willing to go deep on the later, but has been actively on these peoples side from day one. Our town is under an acute crisis and the only people it seems in agreement are the ones causing the crisis!

    • Brendan Tedstone

      Show me the police reports and the resulting convictions (or at least indictments) of these awful people. I don’t buy one second of what you’re selling. An accusation doesn’t mean there is guilt. I know Bill Brennan. I’m around town all the time. Haven’t seen him jump out of any bushes. When you sensationalize items, you lose credibility. Also, when you don’t have the stones to attach your real name, more credibility lost.

  2. Owen

    Real patriots don’t take down American flags from public places. What a traitorous scumbag.


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