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OKLAHOMA CITY — One leader of the Back the Blue rally in Oklahoma City Sunday referred to police officers as “the civic warriors” and referred to recent protests nationwide as “chaos” that police should control.

The rally started in Mesta Park on the near north side of the city and then participants marched or rode down to City Hall, the Oklahoma City Police Headquarters, and the Oklahoma County jail downtown to demonstrate their support for the OKCPD.

Once there, a few people opposed to their message pestered the group but didn’t interfere in their action.

“Civic warriors”

Before the march began, one leader, Doug Fisher took questions from Free Press and a TV news crew who asked what their purpose was in having a rally to support the police.

“We’re tired of seeing the socialist media and socialists in general walking through the streets destroying our country,” said Fisher.

“You have to support the Civic warriors, which is law enforcement, because without law enforcement, we turn into the socialist cities that you’re seeing now such as Portland or any other state that’s having issues.”

Back the Blue Rally
Back the Blue Rally starts toward downtown August 16, 2020. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Portland, Oregon was the site of recent nightly clashes between protesters and Portland Police that ended up close to the federal building. At that point, unidentified people in military camouflaged BDUs arrived and fired large quantities of tear gas and projectiles at unarmed protesters.

“So law enforcement is our buffer between the chaos of society and civilization. And that’s why we’re here to support them,” Fisher continued. “You don’t get rid of the people that keep you safe. You don’t. That’s about the dumbest thing — anybody and everybody here will tell you, that’s the dumbest thing that you could do.”

Shane Jett, Republican candidate for Senate District 17 that represents eastern Oklahoma County and Shawnee came and spoke in the park and downtown in front of City Hall.

“I think that that people are trying to tear down the United States, attacking symbols of culture,” said Jett at the park.

“Instead of learning from our past and applying those lessons they want to to whitewash the past or blackwash the past. It doesn’t matter. The truth will set us free. If we study history, we can learn the lessons from history if we if we delete history, then we lose all of those lessons.”

Flag mods

Various members of the group carried traditional U.S. flags. But, others carried flags that had been manufactured to heavily modify the appearance of the official United States flag.

One prominently displayed by several of the group looked like the American flag but had black instead of the blue star field and black stripes instead of red stripes with a blue stripe through the middle of the stripe field.

Free Press asked one member of the group, Connor Robertson, why he was carrying that particular modified flag.

“Given all the recent events that are going on right now in the United States, I felt like it’s appropriate to do something like this to show that the police are what’s keeping us from chaos with all the protests and all the violence going on,” Robertson said. “I feel like this is an appropriate symbol of what the police are representing. They’re protecting us from the chaos that’s going on.”

Back the blue
Connor Robertson (far right) carries his flag that is based on the American Flag but makes a statement about the police. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

We asked if he thought that the heavy modification of the traditional flag might be seen as a desecration of the flag.

“I think that there are some people who could absolutely see that. And I can understand why,” he said. But, he didn’t believe it was disrespect for the U.S. flag.

In addition, other flags displayed also modified the official flag with images of President Donald Trump inserted and symbols of particular groups inserted.

Police escort

Six OKCPD motorcycle police had been paid overtime by private donors to the group to escort them along their march downtown. The group’s event page said ahead of time that they were raising money ahead of time to pay as many officers as they had money for since the police “are being defunded.”

When they arrived and before the march the group cheered them.

Last Updated August 17, 2020, 4:11 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor