The turning point in the use of the Punisher as a symbol was the development of the "Blue Lives Matter" propaganda campaign. In 2013, the "Black Lives Matter" campaign launched as activists tried to highlight the systemic racism and violence that African-Americans face in the United States. The protesters particularly spotlighted police killings of African-Americans, which, in turn, tied into protests against racial profiling, police brutality and the overall mistreatment of African-Americans within the American criminal justice system.
In late 2014, a counter-movement debuted called "Blue Lives Matter" following the murders of two New York City police officers. The movement's stated goal is better protection for police officers, typically through laws making it a "hate crime" to target police officers.
Naturally, in movements like these, propaganda is key and one of the most popular choices to help promote the "Blue Lives Matter" movement was to work the Punisher logo into "Blue Lives Matter" posters, decals and the like. In February 2017, the police department in Cattlesburg, Kentucky began featuring decals on their squad cars with the Punisher logo and the phrase "Blue Lives Matter." Police Chief Cameron Logan noted that "that decal represents that we will take any means necessary to keep our community safe." Eventually, public outrage led to the removal of the decals.
Just a couple of months later, the same approach was adopted by the police department in Solvay, New York, who added a blue Punisher logo to their squad cars as a "Blue Lives Matter" tribute. The Solvay Police Department released a statement noting that the use of the logo "is our way of showing our citizens that we will stand between good and evil. There is no vigilante justice that takes place in our community or within our department." Unlike Cattlesburg, Solvay decided to stick with their decals even after a similar public outcry.
The proliferation of the Punisher logo in "Blue Lives Matter" propaganda also coincided with the Punisher making his television debut in Season 2 of Netflix's Daredevil series before launching into his own Netflix series in 2017.
This heightened public awareness of the Punisher and his symbol has made the adoption of the punisher as a symbol of the police and military more and more of a spotlighted story.
Recently, the use of the Punisher's symbol as a stand-in for the "Blue Lives Matter" movement came to a head in St. Louis where a pair of officers were being investigated by Internal Affairs and allegedly one of the reasons that they were being investigated was for their use of the Blue Punisher symbol. This led to Ed Clark, President of the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, to request that his fellow police officers all begin to share the Blue Punisher logo, as well, as a sign of solidarity. Clark noted, "The Blue Line symbol and the Blue Line Punisher symbol have been widely embraced by the law enforcement community as a symbol of the war against those who hate law enforcement. It's how we show the world that we hold the line between good and evil."