A flag story of a different color

The Christian flag flew alongside the American, and state of Alabama flags, nothing extraordinary. However, flying the Christian flag evidently offended a resident of Glencoe, and he or she contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) which subsequently threatened a lawsuit.

A town the size of Glencoe cannot afford litigation and its associated cost, therefore Glencoe Mayor Charles Gilchrist and the Glencoe City Council made the only rational decision under the circumstances and removed the Christian flag.


Aren’t there some religious freedom advocacy groups who would take up the defense?

How’s this for a plan: the resident’s neighbors are so annoying that he moves, and then the town sneaks the flag back up!

“Christian flag”? What is a Christian flag and why would we be happy for it to be on a government building? Doesn’t having it there imply the establishment of Christianity (and probably specifically Protestantism) as the town’s religion? I would be pretty uncomfortable with that as well.

Would a reasonable person look at the flag and reach that conclusion?

They fly it over the Stars and Stripes aboard U.S. Navy ships at sea when services are in progress. It is the only flag authorized to fly above the national flag.

As for being “uncomfortable” did you ever consider you are hyper sensitive? There is an old proverb that goes something like, “When you increase sensitivity, you increase the false alarm rate.” Also, consider this:

…Under the endorsement [of religion] test, the government violates the Establishment Clause when it acts in a manner that a reasonable person would view as an endorsement of religion. … This is an objective standard, similar to the judicially-created ‘reasonable person’ standard of tort law. … Accordingly, we do not ask whether there is ANY person who could find an endorsement of religion, whether SOME people may be offended by the [Ten Commandments] display, or whether SOME reasonable person MIGHT think [the government] endorses religion. Rather, the inquiry here is whether THE reasonable person WOULD conclude that Mercer County’s display has the effect of endorsing religion. … The ACLU makes repeated reference to ‘the separation of church and state.’ This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. … state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible. – Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, ACLU of Kentucky vs. Mercer County, KY

I am not a huge fan of the so-called Christian flag. I have seen it in Protestant churches and it doesn’t look “Catholic” enough for me… Just my opinion.

I love the Vatican/Catholic flag as much as I love the Stars & Stripes.

As far as the “Christian” flag goes; it’s no surprise to me that someone has a beef with it. Christians aren’t a ‘trendy’ group right now, so these things will continue to happen until WE change it.

And how do you propose we do that?

  1. “Preaching the Gospel at all times - using words when necessary.” ~ Pope St. John XXIII

  2. Defiance and solidarity. If EVERYBODY in town put up the Christian flag, it might send a message to the crybaby who wanted it taken down. Let me tell you a story…

This actually seems relevant today although my story takes place 20 years ago. I was a freshman in college (in Massachusetts) and someone had a small 12x12" Confederate battle flag in a corner of his window facing the quad. Nobody noticed until someone called attention to it by writing to the school newspaper demanding that the flag be taken down. Within 48 hours of that newspaper being published; DOZENS of Confederate flags came out of nowhere and there were too many for the college to police them all. It blew over eventually, but the guy who put the original flag up kept it there until the end of the school year.

If we band together - and stick together - we can triumph over idiocy and hyper-sensitivity.

That’s really the thing… We don’t speak up, and we don’t band together. Sure we talk on the web here, but we’re scattered and live all across the globe. We need to band together at the parish level and stick together. Our clergy and leadership need to speak up, and we the laity need to back them up 1000%.

That is how we do that.

I don’t think that I’m oversensitive or unreasonable. Are there services being performed in the city hall? Most city halls are not strewn with random banners of every kind, just for decorative purposes. Every city hall I’ve seen has a very small and specific selection of flags. Most city halls in the US fly the American flag, indicating that they are subject to the laws of the federal government. Most also fly the state flag, indicating that they are also subject to the laws of the state. Most others fly a flag representing their city or township, if such a flag exists, indicating the building represents the citizens of that community. Based on that consistent context among city hall flags around the country, I ask you what would a reasonable person infer from the flying of a “Christian flag”?

Good idea. It also worked against anti-Semitism in a small mid-West town. Everyone put up a Star of David in their window. That was the last we heard of that “crybaby.”

I think you are. I read the whole opinion of ACLU v. Mercer Co. and it didn’t mention anything about services being a requirement to have a Ten Commandments display. If you gathered a significant number of fellow citizens who felt the same way, you might fall outside the bounds of the oversensitive or unreasonable. But seeing as how you are one squeaking wheel with a manufactured outrage, …

I highly doubt I am the only one that finds flying a single denomination’s flag along side the state and national flag to be inappropriate. You are the one who brought up services on naval ships, so if you thought it was irrelevant, why did you bring it up?

I think the Court answered that.

“Inappropriate” and “inferences” are not the question here since we are not a nation of appropriateness nor “inferences” but a nation of laws. The only reason I brought up the flag aboard ships is to show it is flown over government property from time to time. If you think it is illegal, file a lawsuit.

No, you’re not the only one.

What does flying a flag symbolize other than an adherence to the principles for which it stands? People don’t die in a war for a piece of cloth; they give their lives for the principles it embodies.

Most of us Christians find ourselves completely able to follow our religious beliefs without living in a town that flies a flag proclaiming our religion. Glencoe is being prudent not to waste time, taxpayers’ money, and resources on a non-issue.

Many towns here have populations that are predominantly Muslim; I can only guess at the outrage that would ensue if the town hall in those places attempted to fly a flag with the crescent moon and star.

Agree totally.

I believe that this flag was designed and used primarily by Protestants. Have you considered that Roman Catholics might not be considered ‘Christian’ by many of the people who fly it?

Wouldn’t that be a pretty unproductive use of my time, seeing as the town has already removed the flag?

I meant in general as opposed to this specific case.

If this happened in my community, (and it wouldn’t because I live in a very religiously diverse community and no one would think of putting a Protestant flag on a city hall) I would happily sign a petition against it.

But you wouldn’t lead an effort for redress of grievance.

I’m not sure what you mean by that. Filing a petition in and of itself is a form of the right for redress of grievance. Redress of grievance just means that citizens have a right to make a formal complaint to the government without having to worry about being repercussions. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the government has to acknowledge that complaint or act on it. If you are asking if I would travel to Washington to petition the supreme court or try to get a spot before the UN, no probably not. Since this is a local matter, I would probably stick to petitions, speaking at a town hall meeting, maybe writing a letter to the local newspaper, etc.

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