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Thin Red Line Flag

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  • Showcase your support for your fire department with this well-made flag
  • Polyester material used for long-lasting flag life
  • Thin Red Line Flag can be purchased with one of our 4 flagpoles
  • Mounted with the grommets and header tape on the side
  • Our flags are made in the USA
  • Looking for Thin Blue Line Flag?

Thin Red Line Flag Details

Parts List:

  • Pre-printed American flag with red stripe
  • Optional flagpole of your choice


  • Outdoor Flag Polyester: Tear-resistant lightweight knitted fabric with excellent thru-print (3.25oz/yd²)


ModelPart NumberSizeWeightIncludes
Flag Only DI8102 5ft x 3ft 0.4lbs Pre-printed flag
Flag & Hand-Held Flagpole DI0650 6ft 2.1lbs Pre-printed flag
Tangle-free aluminum flagpole
Removable black handle
Flag & Wall-Mounted Flagpole DI0653 6ft 2.9lbs Pre-printed flag
Tangle-free aluminum flagpole
Removable black handle
180° adjustable wall mount
Flag & Pole-Mounted Flagpole KX0090 6ft 3.2lbs Pre-printed flag
Tangle-free aluminum flagpole
Removable black handle
180° adjustable wall mount
(2) 40" steel bands
Flag & Ground-Mounted Flagpole DI0550 20ft 9.5lbs Pre-printed flag
Aluminum flagpole
PVC tube for ground installation

The History of the Thin Red Line Flag

The first use of the term “Thin Red Line” dates all the way back to the 19th century.

In 1854, the forces of the British Empire -- specifically a 200-strong portion of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders -- found themselves acting as the second and last line of defense during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War.

When the defenses ahead of them fell to enemy cavalry, the men of the 93rd found the enemy bearing down on them. Organizing themselves into a two-deep firing line, the men of the 93rd fired three volleys at 600, 350 and 150 yards. They planned to fire another volley at point-blank range, but the enemy had turned and run away by that point.

A reporter for Britain’s “The Times” newspaper, William H. Russell, wrote later that the British firing line was the only thing between the enemy and the British camp, calling them a thin red streak tipped with steel. The phrase was repeated over and over again until it became condensed into “the Thin Red Line.”

Over time, the phrase slowly shifted from a description of that specific situation to a figure of speech. Now, when people referred to a “thin red line,” they were simply talking about a thinly spread military unit defending against an attack.

So how did we get from “the thin red line” meaning members of the military to the red line American flags being an emblem used by fire departments?

Here’s the bottom line: the thin red line American flag that you often see hanging from fire engines and EMT vehicles came about as an offshoot of the thin blue line flag used by police officers and law enforcement officials. The thin blue line represents the way the police act as protectors of their community.

So what does the thin red line flag represent?

Thin Red Line Meaning

Having come from the same place as the thin blue line flag, the meaning of the firefighter’s thin red line flag is roughly the same. The flag with red stripe is used today by civilians and fellow firefighters alike as a symbol of respect for those firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty.

The design of the firefighter thin red line flag is much the same as it is for the police thin blue line flag. Instead of a blue stripe down the center of the black-and-white American flag, firefighter red line flags have a single red stripe down the center.

The idea for using a red line for these firefighter red line flags is actually borrowed from another, similar design. This design is “The Red Line of Courage,” a thin red line on an all-black background. It was developed in 1999 by the Apex Volunteer Fire Department of Apex, North Carolina.

Here at Vispronet, we’re proud to bring our version of the thin red line flag -- as close to the original version as we can get it. Features of our red line American flags include:

  • High quality, durable polyester construction thanks to our Polyflag material.
  • Metal grommets for hanging.
  • Four different flagpole options.


  1. The National Archives -- The Battle of Crimea
  2. The Red Line of Courage

California Residents

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20ft flagpole setup video

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