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Humanists Continue to Challenge Christian Symbols on Government Property in New Filing

For Immediate Release

Contact: Isabelle Oldfield, (202) 238-9088,

(Washington, D.C., March 11, 2019) – Attorneys at the American Humanist Association (AHA), in conjunction with secular and interfaith allies, have filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief at the First Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a lower court ruling that the City of Boston was correct in its decision to deny a request to fly the Christian Flag in front of City Hall.

Some residents of Boston, MA, are attempting to mandate that the City fly the Christian Flag (a white flag with a blue rectangle in the corner inset with a blood-red Latin cross) in place of Boston’s City flag. The Christian Flag would flutter next to the American Flag and the Massachusetts state flag.

"The Supreme Court has made clear that whatever else the Establishment Clause means, the government cannot be the mouthpiece for sectarian religious speech," explains Monica Miller, senior counsel for the American Humanist Association. Miller, who recently presented oral arguments to the Supreme Court in the Bladensburg Cross case, added, “had the City agreed to fly the Christian cross flag at the entrance of City Hall, the City would be proselytizing Christianity in flagrant violation of our Constitution."

“Entangling the government with religious imagery, especially religious symbols like the Christian cross, is a clear constitutional violation, as we have argued in First Amendment cases in both Bladensburg, MD and Pensacola, FL,” noted Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association.


The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Special thanks to the Louis J. Appignani Foundation and the Herb Block Foundation for their support of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center.

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