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World News

US Supreme Court rules Christian flag ban was a violation

by Alex Collett

The US Supreme Court has ruled that Boston City Hall in Massachusetts violated the free speech rights of a Christian group when they refused to fly a flag displaying a cross.

The judges unanimously voted to overturn a lower court ruling of which decided that freedom of speech was not violated. 
For years, the city of Boston has rotated dozens of flags on a pole outside its City Hall. Some flags have celebrated veterans, LGBTQ pride, and paramedics to promote diversity.

However, in 2017 when a conservative activist and director of the Christian Camp Constitution, Harold Shurtleff applied to hoist a "Christian Flag" city officials wouldn't let it fly.

Shurtleff began pursuing the case after they rejected his application to fly a flag that featured a red cross outside City Hall, even though it had approved 284 straight applications before his arrived.

City Hall originally stated: "The blue and white flag, with a red Latin cross in one corner, would violate the long-held principle of separation of church and state."

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the decision: "The city's lack of meaningful involvement in the selection of flags or the crafting of their messages leads us to classify the flag raisings as private, not government, speech - though nothing prevents Boston from changing its policies going forward." 

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