Supreme Court Hears Christian Flag Case

The question is whether Boston can refuse to raise a Christian flag in front of City Hall.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case over whether an organization can be allowed by the city of Boston to raise a Christian flag in front of City Hall. 

Three flagpoles stand outside Boston’s City Hall. Two of the flags are of the United States and the State of Massachusetts. A third flagpole typically raises Boston’s city flag but leaves it open for private groups to conduct commemorations in front of the building. 

Over the past 12 years, the city has flown the flag of other nations, including China and Cuba, as well as flags for groups such as Boston Pride and the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. 

Whether the flag on the third flagpole sends a message conveyed by the government or whether it serves as a forum open to anyone or any group to display a particular flag is the question that the justices considered. 

Boston argued the flagpole is an expression of the city’s views and would pose an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion if the Christian flag is flown. Plaintiffs said the city’s policy unconstitutionally silences unpopular speech by denying permission to fly the flag. 

The question could become moot if Boston alters its rules to only allow for flags of nations, for example. 

The court is expected to issue its ruling in June. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For the Supreme Court justices as they consider the importance of free speech and other First Amendment rights in this case. 
  • For city and state officials as they make decisions that impact the freedom of religion.

Sources: Washington Examiner, USA Today, SCOTUS Blog 


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