Policeman Reprimanded for Flag Stickers on Patrol Car

Policeman Reprimanded for Flag Stickers on Patrol Car

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A Salt Lake City police officer has told his colleagues that he was reprimanded for displaying two American flag stickers on is patrol car.

Officer Thomas Potter has not disclosed who the superior officer was.

"Quietly I stood, biting my tongue as I was grilled in a despicable tone and questioned who had authorized those stickers, citing they may be offensive to the public and they should be removed," Potter said in an e-mail to other officers.

"I'm not writing this to get your sympathy," Potter said. "I don't care what you believe in, whom you voted for, how you feel about the military or what you think about me.

"But the next time you look at my flag I demand you show some respect. For hundreds of years, thousands of families have lost their brothers, fathers, husbands and sons who died protecting it."

Police Capt. Scott Atkinson said bumper stickers generally are prohibited by the department, but "we take no position on displaying the American flag on patrol cars. We are trying to get to the bottom of this incident, but we have not been able to learn the identity" of the senior officer.

Potter said the commander was "a jerk" but he does not want to ruin the man's career because of a "stupid statement."

Potter and Atkinson said they have received hundreds of e-mails from officers who are irate that an officer would be reprimanded for showing his patriotism.

Potter is a member of an Army Reserve unit that has been activated and will ship out Wednesday.

Potter said he removed the flag stickers from his patrol car and put them on his duffel bag.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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