SHOW LOW — Area residents and visitors may have noticed a lot more flags than usual whipping in the breeze over the weekend and some may have even noticed a few at half-staff.

May 15 was National Peace Officers Memorial Day and also National Armed Forces Day, which created a very awkward conflict of presidential proclamations involving flag protocol. President Joe Biden signed a national proclamation for National Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week 2021 which included a call for flags to fly at half-staff.

Biden later edited his proclamation, because National Armed Forces Day, officially celebrated the third Saturday of May, meant that the flags must be raised to full staff. The last time May 15 landed on a Saturday happened eleven years ago in 2010. Par for the course, since the last 15 months have been beyond extraordinary.

Last year was a hard year, with five Arizona police officers killed in the line of duty. Those lost included White Mountain Apache Police Department officer David Kellywood, Peoria Police officer Jason Judd, Phoenix Police Commander Greg Carnicle and Tohono O’odham Nation police officer Bryan Brown.

In a local observation of National Police Week/National Peace Officers Memorial Day 2021, marchers of all ages and walks of life gathered to trek the streets, the roads and the boulevards from Show Low to Lakeside in a Back the Blue march to show support for law enforcement and also pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the line of duty.

Some walked alone, head down. Some traveled in large groups. Most waved thin blue line flags and wore special Back the Blue T-shirts. Drivers tooted their horns and babies waved.

When asked why they were there, nearly everyone said something similar to what Joel Hart said, “We’re here because I think, I hope, Americans are finally recognizing we have to come back together again and work to find common ground. We are more similar than we are different. Law enforcement is there for us when we need them most and we have to stand up for them. We got their 6!”

(10) comments


I'll never forget the images of gosar's traitors attacking and injuring police officers with the metal flag poles holding "back the blue" flags. Unforgiveable.


pioneerfamily: Never forget.


There is no need for this bravado and braggadocio. Sad and Pathetic.


Thank you for this article. Thank you for emphasizing the beauty of the human spirit. Peace and love.

Concerned Conservative

Ah yes I remember the beauty of the human spirit on Jan 6th when all the Trump supporters/"back the blue" supporters stormed the Capital Building. Attacking police and destroying a building that represents our legal system and government these men and women really showed their support for the thin blue line.


I am speaking about the tone of the newspaper article in that it was positive. I am not blind I know what happened on Jan 6. I am hopeful that we can all learn to understand eachother in time. I am not a pessimist. I am a Democrat.


Bet $10 that flag was made in Cambodia.

Concerned Conservative

“We’re here because I think, I hope, Americans are finally recognizing we have to come back together again and work to find common ground."

Just keep counting the ballots to an election that wasn't stolen in order to keep the cult of personality behind Trump running. AZ has become a laughing stock


Arizona looks ridiculous because it has been a Republican state for a long time. People in Navajo County think in a very primitive way because of their isolation. It will change for the better. One way or another.


Back the Blue is popular around here but I wouldn't dare put a Black Lives Matter sign in my front yard. The neighbors would shun me, even though Blacks have every reason to fear the police in some communities. Many of these flag wavers can easily relate to a police officer who works hard to keep the peace in their communities, which includes most of them, but they refuse to acknowledge that not all officers deserve to wear their badge. I'm sure they think that people like George Floyd had it coming. I think all lives matter. Sure, I back the blue when they treat everyone with the respect they deserve.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.