BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The City of Boston will raise the Christain flag at city hall plaza this Wednesday, after years of legal battles that saw the case go all the way to the Supreme Court.
City officials confirmed the flag-raising ceremony will take place Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. The city initially denied a request from a religious group called Camp Constitution to fly the flag with the red Christian cross back in 2017. Harold Shurtleff, who runs Camp Constitution then sued the city for denying the request because he said it violated his first amendment rights.
The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, where justices ruled unanimously in favor of Camp Constitution's right to request for the flag to be flown. The city declined to comment on the flag-raising ceremony.
Liberty Counsel, the legal organization that represented Camp Constitution during the legal battle, said the City of Boston approved 284 requests to fly flags outside of city hall between 2005 and 2017, and that Shurtleff's request was the only one that was denied during that time frame.
“Boston did not make the raising and flying of private groups’ flags a form of government speech," now-retired Justice Steven Breyer wrote in the court's decision. "That means, in turn, that Boston’s refusal to let Shurtleff and Camp Constitution raise their flag based on its religious viewpoint ‘abridg[ed]’ their ‘freedom of speech.’”
The Liberty Counsel said it plans to stream the ceremony on its Facebook page.