Liberty Counsel is in court today presenting oral argument regarding its motion for summary judgement requesting the United States District Court in Boston to rule that Boston resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution, can fly the Christian flag on Boston’s City Hall flagpoles on the same terms as other civic and cultural organizations.
The city refers to its flagpoles as “public forums” and allows private organizations to temporarily raise their own flags on the flagpoles almost once per week. However, the city censored the religious viewpoint of Camp Constitution’s flag because it is called the “Christian flag.”
The undisputed facts reveal that Boston has allowed more than 300 flag raisings by private organizations on the City Hall flagpoles, including the Turkish flag (which depicts the Islamic star and crescent) and the Portuguese flag (which uses religious imagery). City officials have also never denied the “messages” communicated by the “Chinese Progressive Association,” the LGBT rainbow flag of Boston Pride, and a “transgender” pink and blue flag. The flags from other countries such as Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, as well as of Communist China and Cuba have all been approved to fly on the city’s flagpoles.
The Christian flag is the only flag censored. It would have been raised only during a one-hour event held by Camp Constitution on September 17 in observance of Constitution Day, to celebrate the civic and social 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.
“The city’s discrimination against Camp Constitution’s religious viewpoint is unconstitutional and must end. Where the city of Boston never censored numerous flags from private organizations, it cannot ban the Christian flag by Camp Constitution,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel.