Supreme Court Allows Christian Flag to Fly in a Liberal City

The US Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the decision of a liberal city, Boston, which stopped a local organization from flying a Christian flag.

As per the verdict, the city had no constitutional right to disallow the flying of a religious flag.

Private Organization May Fly a Christian Flag in Boston

This ruling against Boston is a victory of a private group named Camp Constitution. 

With the ambition to increase the visibility of the Christian heritage, Camp Constitution wanted to raise the Christian flag in a one-hour-long event. The event would include speeches regarding Boston’s history.

Thus, the founder of the private organization Harold Shurtleff applied to raise his flag on one of the three poles outside the city hall. 

The other two polls are reserved for the flag of America and the state of Massachusetts, while the third one is given to any organization which conducts its event inside the hall.

However, in this case, the city denied the pole to Camp Constitution, which led them to sue the government of Boston.

While the case pertained to a Christian flag, it was essentially a case in which the government violated the free speech provision of the US Constitution. 

The court had to decide whether the refusal to let a private organization fly a flag was an infringement of speech or not.

Under the free speech doctrine of American constitutional law, governments can take sides with prejudiced biases in some matters. 

However, the court ruled this was not the case, which means Boston illegally refused to let a Christian flag fly.

According to the court, the government violated the free speech rights of a private organization, which is against the Constitution.

Boston Had No Right to Stop Flying a Christian Flag

During the proceedings, Boston claimed it was the case of government speech, as the pole belonged to the city. Thus, the city asserted the pole is normally used to fly the flag of the city of Boston.

Similarly, the city attorney Douglas Harry Hallward-Driemeir asserted the goal of the city is to encourage “diversity,” but still, it remains the decision of the city to choose the message it wants to promote.

The associate justice of the Supreme Court, Stephen Breyer, noted both sides had a valid point.

He indicated the Constitution allows the government to decline a specific view.

Furthermore, the judge claimed the government is in full right to state a specific opinion, but that provision is limited to things that are necessary for the government to work.

Thus, the judge claimed in this particular case, it is evident the city was not involved in controlling the raising of the flags in the past, which means it should follow the same pattern this time.

According to the liberal city, people would perceive the government of Boston as promoting Christianity after seeing the flag, which is against the Constitution.