The "Thin blue line" is a phrase that refers figuratively to the position of police in society as the force which holds back chaos, allowing order and civilization to thrive.
The term began as an allusion to the famous "Thin Red Line", when a British regiment held off a Russian cavalry charge during the Crimean War in 1854, where "red" referred to the color of the British uniforms. The "blue" in "thin blue line" refers to the blue color of the uniforms of many police departments.
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