It took years, but the Christian flag, sponsored by Camp Constitution, now has flown above the Boston City Hall Plaza, on a flagpole that the city created and used as a public forum.
It took a rare 9-0 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court for it to happen.
The city had censored the flag even though its policy and practice was to allow anyone to fly a flag at the site for a special event.
Camp Constitution requested permission to fly a Christian flag for its event, and was denied by the city.
According to Liberty Counsel, which provided a video of the event, the city policy stated that “the flagpole was open to all applicants, but the city of Boston denied Hal Shurtleff’s application to briefly raise the flag during an event for Constitution Week hosted by Camp Constitution. The sole reason for the denial was that the application form referred to the flag as a ‘Christian’ flag.”
Liberty Counsel explained there are three flagpoles outside the Boston city hall that fly the U.S., Massachusetts and Boston flags, plus a fourth flag on Congress Street, which runs parallel to City Hall.
“For 12 years, from 2005 to 2017, Boston approved 284 flag raisings by private organizations with no denials on the flagpoles that it designated a ‘public forum.’ However, the city official denied Camp Constitution’s application in 2017 to fly the Christian flag on Constitution Day. Boston approved 39 private flag-raising events, which averaged three per month. In 2018, Boston approved 50 private flag-raising events, averaging nearly one per week. One included a flag of a private credit union. ”
The historic flag-raising ceremony included Shurtleff and Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver.
Other speakers include Rev. Steve Craft of Camp Constitution and Christian Citizenship Ministries, Pastor William Levi of operation Nehemiah Missions, Pastor Earl Wallace of Liberty Christian Fellowship, historian Richard Howell and Jonathan Alexandre of Liberty Counsel.
WND reported when the Supreme Court publicly rebuked Boston.
The ruling said Boston violated the constitutional rights of Camp Constitution.
“We conclude that, on balance, Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer, one of the court’s leftists, in the opinion. “That means, in turn, that Boston’s refusal to let Shurtleff and Camp Constitution raise their flag based on its religious viewpoint ‘abridged’ their ‘freedom of speech.'”
At the time arguments were heard, Elena Kagan, another of the court’s leftists, openly wondered, “Why is it that people have not been able to correct this mistake?”
Other flags allowed by city officials included the Pride flag and communist regimes such as China and Cuba.
Lower courts mistakenly had ruled that flying a Christian flag where dozens of other private interests had flown their flags with their own private messages would somehow make the Christian flag – and not the others – “government speech,” which would allow the city to censor it.
Boston’s antipathy toward the Christian flag is not the first time a lower government has been called out recently by the high court for an anti-religious agenda. Just a few years back, the court publicly scolded Colorado for its “hostility” to Christianity in its attempt to force a Christian baker to violate his faith and promote same-sex weddings.
In that case, involving Masterpiece Cakeshop and baker Jack Phillips, the state even had attempted to force him into a reindoctrination training program because he declined to promoted same-sex weddings with his artistry.