Atheists File Lawsuit against Pennsylvania County over Cross on Flag and Seal
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Aug 22
An atheist group has filed a lawsuit against Lehigh County in Pennsylvania because the county’s flag and seal depicts a cross.
ChristianToday.com reports that the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), along with four residents of the county, filed the lawsuit against the county, claiming the presence of the cross on the county’s flag and seal violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution.
"It is well settled law that government entities may not include religious images on their official seals," said the foundation's staff attorney, Patrick Elliott, via email. "Lehigh County is a pluralistic community that includes persons of minority faiths and of no religion. We look forward to the county redesigning the seal to come into compliance with the First Amendment."
However, county commissioners have unanimously voted to oppose the removal of the cross from the flag and seal.
"It is the position of Lehigh County that the presence of the cross on the seal among all the other items of historical significance has the secular purpose of recognizing the history of the county," read part of the letter from the Lehigh County commissioners.
The cross was adopted by Lehigh County in 1944. The county commissioners further added that “"the cross, one of more than a dozen elements, was included to honor the original settlers of Lehigh County, who were Christian."
Publication date: August 22, 2016