May 4, 2022

SCOTUS: Boston Wrong to Refuse Flying of Christian Flag

The Court unanimously slaps down Boston’s abuse of religious freedom and free speech.

The U.S. Supreme Court was in the news Monday for more than just that leak on Roe v. Wade. The justices also handed down a unanimous decision reinforcing Americans’ constitutional right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech. The case in question was Shurtleff v. the City of Boston, wherein the Court overturned a lower court decision in order to rule that the city of Boston violated the First Amendment when it rejected a Christian organization’s request to fly a Christian flag on one of the three flag poles in front of City Hall.

At issue was the fact that the city had allowed 284 other organizations to fly their flags during commemorative events. Indeed, Boston had promoted the practice as an expression of the city’s diversity. But then city leaders refused the Christian organization known as Camp Constitution, which states that its mission is “to enhance understanding of the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage.” The organization’s founder, Harold Shurtleff, sued the city.

Boston argued that rejecting Camp Constitution’s request was in order to avoid “publicize messages antithetical to its own.” In other words, Boston admitted that it refused to give voice to certain views with which it did not agree.

The Supreme Court’s 9-0 ruling against Boston sends a clear and undivided message that the city trampled on the Constitution. “We conclude that Boston’s flag-raising program does not express government speech,” wrote soon-to-be retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. “As a result, the city’s refusal to let [the group] fly their flag based on its religious viewpoint violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”

“When the government encourages diverse expression — say, by creating a forum for debate — the First Amendment prevents it from discriminating against speakers based on their viewpoint,” Breyer added. “The city’s lack of meaning­ful involvement in the selection of flags or the crafting of their messages leads us to classify the flag raisings as pri­vate, not government, speech — though nothing prevents Boston from changing its policies going forward.”

Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch further explained that “government speech occurs if — but only if — a government purposefully expresses a message of its own through persons authorized to speak on its behalf.” Therefore, the government simply allowing speech does not constitute the government sanctioning such speech.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh also noted, “Under the Constitution, a government may not treat reli­gious persons, religious organizations, or religious speech as second-class.”

This was a big and unanimous win for religious liberty and freedom of speech, and it was a badly needed check on those in the halls of power who have increasingly sought to twist the protections of the First Amendment ironically against the promotion of free speech and the free expression of religion.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service, are proud sponsors of the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, Folds of Honor, Honoring the Sacrifice, Warrior Freedom Service Dogs, Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, the Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation.


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Join us in prayer for our nation, that good and righteous national leaders would rise and prevail, and that division would be healed so we would be united as Americans. We pray also for the protection of our military Patriots, first responders and their families, and comfort for veterans who are suffering.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2023 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.