February 2018 Church & State - February 2018

Ala. Mayor Flies Christian Banner Next To City Hall

  Rokia Hassanein

The mayor of a small Alabama town plans to fly a Christian flag featuring a cross on a pole adjacent to the city hall building. The flag had originally been hoisted on public property, but the town was told to take it down because it was a church-state violation.

Charles Gilchrist, the mayor of Glencoe, Ala., said he plans to fly the flag on what is technically private property, but with the intention of keeping it as close as possible to government property.

The decision comes years after Gilchrist reluctantly re­moved the flag from city hall after the Freedom From Religion Foundation responded to a complaint from a local resident and informed Gilchrist that it’s unconstitutional for govern­ment to endorse a specific religion.

“We can’t fly it there, but we can fly it here,” Gilchrist told The Washington Post.

The Post noted that Gilchrist considers America to be a Chris­tian nation and that when he removed the flag in 2015, “he saw it as part of a larger spiritual crisis taking hold in the country, and when the flag came down, he prayed about what to do.”

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