Cities Are Defying The Supreme Court Over Flags

( With surprisingly divergent actions, cities throughout America are reacting to a Supreme Court decision over a flag-flying program in the city of Boston. Some cities are heeding the order that forbade viewpoint discrimination, while others are intensifying their pro-LGBT advocacy.

Reports show the city’s discriminatory policy let many other belief systems fly their flags on a city hall flagpole but denied permission for the Christian flag to be flown. Liberty Counsel, who battled on behalf of Hal Shurtleff and his Camp Constitution, denounced it.

The high court issued a public censure to Boston in a unanimous decision. It stated that overall, they concluded that Boston did not define flag raising and flying as a form of official communication. This implies that Boston’s decision to deny Shurtleff and Camp Constitution the right to fly their flag because of their affiliation with a particular religion abridged their right to free expression.

According to Liberty Counsel, Bristol, Connecticut’s city council has unanimously decided only to permit the flying of the American and state flags on public land. Southington cast a similar vote.

According to local media, Mayor of Bristol Jeff Caggiano stated that if he decided to fly one flag but not another, he wouldn’t want to discriminate against anyone or risk the city being sued for infringements on free expression.

However, according to Liberty Counsel, La Mesa, California, Mayor Mark Arapostathis appeared to be disobeying the decision.

At a recent city council meeting, it was questioned if the city should fly any flags other than those representing the city, state, and country in light of the request to raise a flag each year for the LGBTQ community. According to some opposed to the idea, the rainbow flag unfairly excludes other citizens, turns the council into a flagpole gatekeeper, and exposes the city to legal action.

According to Liberty Counsel, other cities, like Imperial Beach, National City, and Chula Vista, have also enacted “Pride” month flag policies. If they do not also allow flags expressing other views, they will violate the First Amendment.
According to Mat Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, the ruling is having an impact. He suggested the clear message from the Supreme Court is that government must not discriminate based on opinion. Further, the government cannot suppress one point of view while promoting another.