After five years of litigation and a Supreme Court ruling, the city of Boston, Mass. agreed to pay $2.1M to Boston resident Hal Shurtleff's Christian group Camp Constitution. The city previously refused to fly the flag in City Hall despite displaying other flags expressing various messages throughout the years.
The SCOTUS decision comes after Camp Constitution first requested to fly its Christian flag — which is white, with a red cross on a blue background in the upper left corner — on one of three poles at City Hall Plaza to celebrate Constitution Day in 2017.
The city's policy stated that the flagpole was open to all organizations, having approved 284 flag raisings with no denials between 2005 and 2017, before denying the Christian flag. The flag was briefly flown at City Hall on Aug. 3 of this year.
The $2.1M settlement covers legal fees incurred by Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization's attorneys, Liberty Counsel. The litigation ended after four lower courts sided with the city before SCOTUS voted 9-0 in favor of Shurtleff.
The city said it had determined the settlement "to be reasonable based on the detailed billing statements provided by Liberty Counsel," adding that it "also allows the City to avoid the costs and uncertainty associated with further litigation in this case.”
Since the SCOTUS decision, Boston has reportedly been working on a policy to give itself more power over which flags can be flown.
Right narrative, as provided by Christian Post. This was a big win for Camp Constitution and religious liberty, which for too long has been denied using the establishment clause. Certainly a Christian flag has as much right to be flown as the Pride flag or any other symbol Boston has approved over the years. The hypocritical, woke agenda has been exposed, and from now on Boston's anti-religion efforts should receive more scrutiny.
Left narrative, as provided by LA Times. The Constitution says the government “shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion.” Allowing a religious flag to fly over a government building would clearly violate this. SCOTUS's decision and this settlement set a dangerous precedent for weakening church-state separation, as well as allowing – at least hypothetically – more nefarious symbols to be displayed on public property in the future.