Prediction for precedent over flying Christian flag

Tuesday, February 19, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Christian flagA pending appeals court decision could impact Americans everywhere, not just Bostonians.

The case Shurtleff v Boston is now before the First Circuit Court of Appeals over whether the City of Boston has the right to deny a Christian flag on a city-owned flag pole that allows private organizations to fly their symbol over Beantown.

So far, however, the City of Boston has won the right to deny the Christian flag, saying only secular flags can be flown.

The Pacific Legal Foundation, which has filed a brief in support of Shurtleff, says the city has flown flags with religious symbols and wording.

"For instance, they've flown the Turkish flag, which has the star and crescent on it," says PLF attorney Daniel Ortner. "They've flown their own city flag, which has the word 'God' on the flag, and so their policy is arbitrary and irrational."

Other flags that have been flown include the LGBT "rainbow" flag as well as historical commemoration flags like the Bunker Hill Association flag, and the Juneteenth flag for the abolition of slavery.  

"But the city has decided that it will not allow the Christian flag to be flown in celebration of the heritage of Christianity," says the attorney, "and the contribution that Christianity has made to the founding of America."

According to Ortner, the national flags of China and Cuba have also been flown.

Arguments before the First Circuit Court of Appeals will likely occur later this year.

Ortner advises that the ruling includes not just Massachusetts but also Maine and New Hampshire, and other courts could obviously be influenced by the decision, too.

"So precedent in the First Circuit, even though it only directly applies to a couple of states," says the PLF attorney, "has implications for the rest of the country because other courts are going to be taking that opinion and applying it and giving it more strength throughout the country as well."


Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that the flag of Greece has never flown on the city's flag pole. Daniel Ortner tells OneNewsNow he misspoke about the flag. 

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