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Former West Roxbury man could get to raise his 'Christian' flag over City Hall Plaza for two hours next month

Hal Shurtleff, who sued Boston for the right to fly what he claims is a Christian flag over City Hall - and won in a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court - will get to unfurl his banner over City Hall Plaza for two hours on Aug. 3 under a settlement reached with city attorneys.

The proposed agreement to let him hoist his flag at 11 a.m. that day still needs the approval of US District Court Judge Denise Casper.

Shurtleff, his Florida lawyers and the city are still negotiating how much the city will pay him for ultimately losing its attempt to keep him away from one of the three flagpoles. If the two sides can't reach agreement on that, Shurtleff, a former John Birch organizer who moved to New Hampshire, will ask Casper to figure out how much the city owes him.

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Comments

Who’s gonna tell this guy that Jesus was black?

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Voting closed 45

Guy Jesus was mostly likely Arab, not black.

Also, where does it mention the guy thinks Jesus was European.

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Voting closed 23

I guess we can declare peace in the Middle East now.

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Voting closed 6

"Arab" is an ethnicity, not a religion. There are Jewish, Muslim and Christian Arabs, and probably Arabs of every other religion you can name.

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Voting closed 17

I am both. It's an overlapping Venn diagram (think MasterCard logo).

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Voting closed 9

Jesus was not black, he was most likely an olive skinned Levantine.

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Voting closed 20

I was once in a church in Europe, where there were stained glass window pictures of Mary and the Christ-child in all different colors and nationalities. Interesting to see.

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You are on the clock. Get your flag up there post haste.

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Voting closed 29

This flag raising is part of the settlement so I wouldn't use it as a barometer for what will happen going forward as there will be changes in the program if it exists at all.

Though I'm not a lawyer I read the decision and it is really narrow. It came down to whether the flagpole was speech from the city or a public forum open to everyone. The initial refusal was because a city worker assumed that it would be a first amendment violation for the city seemingly endorsing a religion or religious group. However, because there was no real application process, guidelines with criteria for what was allowed or not, and in the history of outside groups requesting their flag to be flown no group had ever been denied the court said it was a public forum and the city lost.

They have put the whole program on hold with this flag raising as an exception and tied to those legal cases. However, my understanding is that if the city creates an application process with guidelines and it is clearly for a group to be honored or recognized by the city then it will be proper to deny any religious group going forward (at least until SCOTUS finishes eviscerating the first amendment).

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Voting closed 25

Yet anotyer disaster brought to us courtesy of the government of the city of Boston. World class.

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I envy you the tranquility of your life that this amounts to a "disaster".

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Voting closed 28

It's a big nothing burger, no one would even blink an eye and it would be over, giving this guy the attention and wasting time and money disputing it was silly.

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Voting closed 19

If you read the decision you'll see that this was a very informal program. The incident in question basically involved one city worker realizing that this was a group that was religious in nature and refusing to fly the flag because he thought that it would be a first amendment establishment clause violation.

When SCOTUS finally looked at the program they decided that there was nothing backing it as "official" speech by the city and that it was a public forum which should be open to all.

So saying that "The City" should have just let him isn't really accurate when it was just one guy who made a decision on the fly but misjudged (pun intended) the eventual ramifications of doing what he thought was the right thing.

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Voting closed 11

Saying the City fits in my opinion. and it fits with reporting on this site

The city had argued that the pole represented "government speech," that governments, just like private parties, have a right to express themselves and that the pole was an example of that - and that letting a "Christian" flag fly from it would violate the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

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Voting closed 10

The city is the one that was rightfully named in the case.

I still think it's of value to point out that the program of flying other flags was so informal that it basically came down to the decision of a single person with no policy guiding it. It is specifically because these stories are usually framed as "the city" on one side that I think a lot of people miss that aspect of the original incident.

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Voting closed 9

Maybe one guy made the initial decision but the city let it get all the way to the supreme court without over ruling him.

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Voting closed 11

So does this mean I can fly a pro-choice flag on August 3rd for the same 2 hours?

I'm not suggesting that folks that are pro-women making their own healthcare decisions should find out what time the flag will fly and head down there with their own flags....really, I'm not.

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Voting closed 7

Hal’s grievance boner.

Take THAT, Illuminati stooges and Chinese Communists!

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Given what Shurtleff’s camp reminds me of, and how extremist Christians are telling who is pure and impure, I mean who they claim God favors and hates as abominations, a proper salute to this flag raising will be an outstretched arm, hand facing down, with pronouncements of Seig Jesus.

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Voting closed 7