Commentary: I never took issue with the use of the American flag on police cars, only the way the proposed graphic turned out

My name was published in a recent article about the police car logos in Laguna Beach (“Laguna Beach debates whether American flag image on police cars is patriotic or overly aggressive,” April 12). The article posted on the Daily Pilot website was taken completely out of context. All of my words were not presented.

My purpose for standing before the council was the fact that a design was put before the City Council and council approved the design. Then the police cars showed up with a different design that was not approved. My shock was in seeing a design that was not the approved design. Not shock at the American flag, as the original design included the American flag.

My second point in front of council was if other designs were going to be considered, being an artist community filled with many talented artists, why not put a call out to artists for logo design ideas to be considered? (I am not a graphic artist and would not be submitting one by the way as this was not a self-gratifying exercise).

My final point was my personal opinion that the unapproved design felt a little aggressive. I guess I wasn’t wrong about that, was I? I have been attacked with phone calls voicemails and emails harassing me, calling me un-American and calling me names I would never even repeat. I have been put forth on the dark web with my email and my phone number as a pariah for an anti-nationalism campaign that I have nothing to do with.

I love our country. I was born and raised here. I raise my family here.

I have always saluted the flag, and I love what I thought the American flag represents. I never said anything about the flag being offensive to anybody else or that we should be sensitive about using the American flag. I never said any of that. I was in support of the original approved design that incorporated the American flag.

My point was the design used, which was not approved, felt a bit aggressive. Guess I hit the nail on the head on that one, because the America I know would never attack an individual like I have been attacked. And if this is what our flag represents it’s a very sad day indeed. I’ve received over 50 threatening emails, voicemails and threats to expect retribution against me personally at my summer art studio this year.

The American flag I salute does not support the behavior that I have been subject to as a result of exercising my civil right to speak my opinion. And for it to be taken out of context and presented in this manner is nothing short of distortion, and serving this climate’s undercurrent of hatred that is seeking a vessel. I am not your vessel.

I think the real story here is how hatred is seeking a vessel and does not demand any factual basis or evidence of a backstory before attacking.

Carrie Rae Woodburn is a Laguna Beach artist.