Updated 3:40 pm
A crane at the Steamship Authority’s Woods Hole Project jobsite flew a Blue Lives Matter flag on Tuesday, in apparent contradiction to the ferry line’s apolitical stance. The jobsite is operated by general contractor Jay Cashman Inc. A representative from that company deferred comment on the flag to another staff member, and promised to respond when they could reach that person.
SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll told The Times that “per SSA policy, the only flag allowed to be flown on our property other than the U.S. and state flags is the POW/MIA flag. We relayed that to Cashman today, and they have removed the flag.”
Blue Lives Matter has been seen as a countermovement to Black Lives Matter. Proponents of Blue Lives Matter have sought to equate the killing of police officers with hate crime. However many in law enforcement view the the Blue Lives Matter flag, commonly known as the Thin Blue Line flag, as a sign of support for what is an inherently perilous occupation. The flag has been a divisional flashpoint at several Massachusetts fire departments, where it has been flown from fire apparatus.
As the Patriot Ledger reported, Hingham’s fire chief stirred controversy when he ordered the flag removed from town fire trucks following a citizen’s complaint. Union firefighters under him didn’t agree with the decision.
In an effort to maintain a politically neutral environment, the SSA opted to tune out several national news broadcasts on its ferries and its terminals, and stick with NECN, following customer complaints about the political flavor of those programs.
Updated to add some context on the Blue Line flag.