Liberty Counsel filed a notice of appeal after the same lower court federal judge sided with the city of Boston’s censorship of the Christian viewpoint from a public forum. Liberty Counsel represents Hal Shurtleff and Camp Constitution.
After the close of discovery, the undisputed facts agreed to by the city show Boston has allowed nearly 300 flag raisings by private organizations on the city hall flagpole, which the city designated as a public forum for private speech.
The city refers to its flagpole as a “public forum” and allows private organizations to temporarily raise their own flags on the flagpoles. However, the city censored the religious viewpoint of Camp Constitution’s flag, which was to be raised for about an hour while Camp Constitution supporters gathered below the flag to celebrate Constitution Week. The flag was part of the ceremony to honor the Constitution and recognize the Christian Founders.
Never before had Boston censored any flag until the Christian flag, which is white with a blue square in the upper corner and a red cross. The flag contains no writing.
Shurtleff and Camp Constitution first asked the city in 2017 for a permit to raise the Christian flag on Boston City Hall flagpoles to commemorate Constitution Day (September 17) and the civic and cultural contributions of the Christian community to the city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law, and the U.S. Constitution.
Liberty Counsel immediately filed an appeal to the federal court of appeals.
Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The city of Boston’s open censorship continues against Camp Constitution’s Christian viewpoint. There is a crucial difference between government endorsement of religion and private speech, which government is bound to respect. Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted is unconstitutional.”