Generous gift to the security office


Mya Decker, Multimedia Editor

If you have walked through the school doors recently, you may have noticed the large wooden flag in the security office where Mr. Mercer and Mr. Hanna survey cameras when not patrolling the halls. There is a meaningful story behind it!

The piece was made by Scott Clapper as a gift. Clapper is a Bellwood-Antis alumni and he has family members that still attend B-A. He does wood working and sells the signs to other law enforcement officers, but he felt the B-A security guards should have one.

Scott Clapper (left) with Mr. Hanna (right)

B-A students have¬† probably seen the Thin Blue Line bumper stickers and signs. However, the meaning might not be so obvious. The Thin Blue Line is used to refer to the police, usually in situations of civil unrest.¬† On the original “Thin Blue Line” flag, the blue line is in between two black lines. One black line represents chaos and disorder in society. The blue line in between represents the police force. The other black line represents peaceful people.

Now the three lines are being put on specially designed American flags

“The blue line is supposed to be the balance between chaos and organization. We are to protect the peaceful from the disorganized,” says Mr.Hanna when asked about the meaning of the flag.

The term was derived from the Thin Red Line, the formation of a regiment of the British Army at the Battle of Balaclava in 1854, where the group stood their ground against Russian charge. The first use of the term “thin blue line” was in a poem in 1911. The poem references “The Thin Red Line” and the fact that US Army soldiers wore blue uniforms at the time. The author, Neil Dickmann Anderson, did not refer to the police force at that time.

The modern concept of the thin blue line is traced back to the year 1966, the idea that the police force is the thin line between chaos and peace, and it has been drug into political and social issues in negative ways in which it doesn’t apply.

Mr. Hanna served 4 years in United States Air Force, 22 years with Pennsylvania State Police, and has now been a B-A security officer for 2 years. This sign means a lot to him, hanging just above Mr. Mercer and his desk in the Security Office.

They would like to thank Scott Clapper for the kind gesture and generous gift!