King Council Wants New Flag Policy
Special Report - November 3, 2010
The City Council in King, North Carolina, voted unanimously Monday night to work with attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) to draft a new policy that is expected to eventually allow the Christian flag to be restored to the Veteran’s Memorial at the city’s Central Park. In a 4 to 0 vote at its November 1 meeting, the city council approved a resolution that authorizes the development of a “Limited Public Forum Policy” that will allow the citizens of King, NC to choose the flags, including the Christian flag, to be displayed at the Memorial on a rotating basis. According to the resolution, the policy under development would be to create a display at the Veteran’s Memorial for the “express and limited purpose of publicly recognizing the faith traditions that inspired and sustained the service and sacrifice made by veterans.” City council attorneys are working with ADF attorneys to draft the policy, which should be ready in a couple of months. In the meantime, the Christian flag will not be returned to the Veteran’s Memorial until the policy is ready.
The King city council had considered a total of three options for handling the controversy that erupted after its 3 to 1 decision in September to remove the Christian flag from where it had stood for years in a display featuring the State flag, the U.S. flag, and several other military flags at the local Veteran’s Memorial. Two options that were rejected by the council included selling the city-owned land where the Veteran’s Memorial stands to a private group, or sticking to their original decision to remove the flag. The battle over the Christian flag display began this summer, when the city received letters of complaint about the flag from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina (ACLU-NC). The groups claim that the display of the Christian flag violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. After the city council responded to the legal threats by voting to remove the flag from the Veteran’s Memorial, local citizens rallied behind the Christian flag, urging city officials to return it to the park. Over 500 citizens attended a public meeting held in early October to voice support for the flag, and more than 5,000 people attended a march and rally on October 23.
“The ACLU’s latest attack on religious symbols and expression in the public square is a slap in the face to local veterans, who say it dishonors the fallen warriors who the memorial is meant to celebrate,” said ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco, in a statement. “The city council’s adoption of our policy will ensure that its citizens will be allowed to honor American heroes free of unwarranted censorship. This policy is supported by sound law, and we are confident that the clear and straightforward guidelines will allow King’s citizens to freely honor their veterans.”
Christian Flag Focus Of Rally - October 27, 2010
King Christian Flag At Issue - October 8, 2010
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