The City of Glencoe, Ala., has removed a Christian flag from its police station after receiving a complaint from the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"Hallelujah!" said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. "Reason will prevail. In this case, it was so patently obvious why a civil, secular government can't endorse Christianity in this particular way."
FFRF had sent a letter on Feb. 13 detailing the constitutional problem with the flag.
"The Christian flag was designed by Protestants in the early 20th century and continues to be displayed in Protestant churches throughout the country," explained FFRF Staff Attorney Andrew Seidel. "It features a Latin cross—the most significant symbol of Christianity. Moreover, each of the flag's colors represents a different aspect of Christianity: blue refers to ritual baptism in water, white to Biblical conceptions of purity, and red to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ."
"It is unconstitutional for a government entity to fly a flag with a patently religious symbol and meaning on its grounds. You must take immediate action and refrain from hoisting this flag up the flagpole," Seidel informed the city.
Seidel pointed out that Americans United for Separation of Church and State settled a lawsuit against a North Carolina city that refused to remove the same flag from city grounds for $500,000, after the city had already incurred $50,000 in legal expenses.
FFRF learned today that Glencoe had permanently taken down the Christian flag several weeks ago, concerned that the cost of a legal fight would be prohibitive.
This is FFRF's second flag victory in as many weeks: Bradley County, Ark., took down its "An Appeal to Heaven" flag after FFRF lodged a complaint.
FFRF is a national state/church watchdog with more than 23,000 members nationwide, including nearly 200 members and a chapter in Alabama.