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ICC Note: Following the removal of the Christian flag from a police station in Glencoe, Alabama, community members rallied together in support of the flag. The matter arose when the Freedom from Religion Foundation issued a letter of complaint to the city asserting that the presence of the Christian flag was an unconstitutional endorsement of Christianity. Shortly after, the mayor announced that the flag would be removed in order to avoid a lawsuit.

By Heather Clark

07/22/2015 United States (Christian News Network) – Believers in Glencoe, Alabama rallied on Saturday in support of the Christian flag after the city decided to remove it from outside the local police department due to a complaint from a prominent atheist activist organization.

As previously reported, Mayor Charles Gilchrist told local television station WBRC that the flag was removed just weeks after the city received a letter from the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF). The group stated that it had received a complaint about the presence of the flag and asserted that it was an unlawful endorsement of Christianity.

“It is unconstitutional for a government entity to fly a flag with a patently religious symbol and meaning on its grounds,” the letter, written by staff attorney Andrew Seidel, read. “You must take immediate action and refrain from hoisting this flag up the flagpole at the city hall building.”

Seidel contended that the flag infringes upon the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” He also argued that hoisting the Christian symbol outside of the police department disrespects other religions or those of no religion at all.

“The display of this patently religious symbol on city property confers government endorsement of Christianity, a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause,” the letter stated. “The cross on the flag pole of Glencoe’s city hall building unabashedly creates the perception of government endorsement of Christianity.”

“It conveys the message to the twenty-six percent of the U.S. population who are not Christians that they are not ‘favored members of the political community,’” it said.


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