A Christian flag has been removed from a county courthouse in Georgia following a complaint from a prominent atheist activist organization.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent a letter on July 6 to the clerk of courts at the Bryan County Courthouse to demand that the flag be ejected from the courtroom. The flag—a white and blue flag with a red cross first created in 1897 to honor the Christian faith—had been displayed in the corner by the judge’s bench.
“It has been said that the white in the flag represents the biblical conceptions of purity, the blue in the flag represents the baptism in water, and the red color of the cross is symbolic of the sacrifice Jesus Christ made when He was crucified,” attorney Elizabeth Cavell wrote.
“The inherent religious significance of the Christian flag and Latin cross is undeniable and is not disguisable,” she said. “No secular purpose, no matter how sincere, will detract from the overall message that the flag stands for Christianity and the overall display promotes Christianity.”
Cavell asserted that the flag is therefore a violation of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
“The display of these patently religious symbols on county property confers government endorsement of Christianity, a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause,” she wrote.
According reports, Clerk of Courts Rebecca Crowe forwarded the letter to attorney Leamon Holliday, who advised that the flag should be removed to avoid a legal challenge. While Crowe told Bryan County News that she wasn’t sure who ultimately removed the flag or where it has been relocated, local television station WJCL reports that it was Chief Justice Robert Russell III who decided to comply with the group’s request. Continue reading