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EDITORIAL/Invite One, Invite All: Court unanimously rules Boston wrong to refuse to fly Christian Flag

May 2, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

Since 2005, the city of Boston has had a program allowing private groups to fly their flags on a pole outside City Hall.

Usually, the pole flies the city's own flag. But, upon request, the city flies flags of various countries and causes for special events held at the plaza outside City Hall.

According to the City of Boston website, the flag program is meant to "foster diversity."

Well, within certain limits, it seems.

In 2017, an organization called Camp Constitution asked to fly what is commonly called the Christian Flag -- which features a cross -- as part of a celebration of "civic and social contributions of the Christian Community."

Apparently that was too much diversity for Boston. The city turned the request down, arguing that flying a religious flag under a government program would violate the separation of church and state.

Well, the camp sued and the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously Monday that the city had violated the camp's First Amendment rights to free speech.

Boston officials argued flying a religious flag would be seen as the city endorsing a specific religion. The court found that city had no such concerns about other flags promoting specific causes -- such as the Pride Flag flown on Pride Day. Indeed, over the course of the program no other group's flag had been denied.

The court found that since the city accommodated other groups expressing views without fear of perceived government endorsement, it couldn't deny Camp Constitution.

In our view it was the right ruling. If you invite the public to share their views on public property, you invite all the public. If you don't want to do that, then get rid of the program.

Print Headline: EDITORIAL/Invite One, Invite All: Court unanimously rules Boston wrong to refuse to fly Christian Flag


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