A few weeks ago I wrote about how the city council members in Cochran, Georgia were going to fly a Christian flag in front of City Hall and the local courthouse against the advice of their attorney.
Even worse, the City Hall flag was going up to promote a “Bible-reading marathon sponsored by the International Bible Reading Association.”
Americans United for Separation of Church and State was quick to send letters to both the council members and county attorney warning them of the legal consequences if they kept this up:
“When government buildings fly a Christian flag, especially with the intention of promoting Bible reading, it sends a crystal clear message that one religion is favored above all others,” said The Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United. “This is among the most blatant violations of the Constitution that I have seen.”
After reviewing further imput [sic] from the community, detailed written legal opinions from our City Attorney and a second legal opinion from a constitutional lawyer, impact on the city fiscal resources and the environment in which the original decision to exclusively fly the Christian flag was made, the City Council voted 4 to 1 at a Special Called Meeting on April 28, 2015 to rescind the motion to exclsively [sic] fly the Christian flag 24/7 from the flagpole at City Hall and remove the flag effective May 8th. The only flags that wil [sic] be flown from the flagpole at City Hall will be the U.S. and State Flags.
No word yet on the courthouse flag… but this is a smart move on the councilmembers’ part. They would’ve lost a lawsuit and the taxpayers would’ve been on the hook to pay AU’s legal fees.
All it took was Americans United, the City Attorney, and another constitutional lawyer to point out the obvious.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)