Listen Live to Mat Staver Present Camp Constitution’s Christian Flag Lawsuit Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court Tuesday 1/18

This is from Liberty, our incredible legal team that have been representing us with our Christian flag lawsuit since September 2017:

LISTEN LIVE to Mat Staver Present Oral Arguments in the Supreme Court 1/18/2022 @ 10am ET


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court granted Liberty Counsel’s cert petition and will hear the case regarding the censorship of the Christian flag in Boston. Liberty Counsel will present oral argument to the High Court on January 18 with a decision expected by June 2022.

Although the city of Boston created a public forum for private speakers to temporarily raise a flag on one of its poles and never censored any of the prior 284 applications, it censored the Camp Constitution’s flag during its Constitution Day event because the application referred to it as a “Christian flag.” Camp Constitution wanted to highlight the Christian Founders during the Constitution Day event. Without seeing the flag, Boston censored it solely because of the word “Christian” on the application. Boston took the position that it was permitted to censor the flag because it controlled the flag poles and it was government, not private speech. The lower court and the court of appeals ruled twice in favor of Boston. This case will resolve the issue of government versus private speech.

Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of Boston resident Hal Shurtleff and his Christian civic organization, Camp Constitution, arguing that the city of Boston violated the First Amendment by censoring a private flag in a public forum merely because the application form referred to the flag as a “Christian flag.”


Boston censored the religious viewpoint of Camp Constitution’s flag, which was to be raised for about an hour on September 17 in observance of Constitution Day, while supporters gathered around the flagpole. The flag was part of the ceremony to honor the Constitution and recognize the Christian Founders.

Never has Boston censored any flag until the Camp Constitution’s flag, which is white with a blue square in the upper corner and a red cross. The flag contains no writing. Under oath, the city official testified the flag would have been approved if the application did not refer to it as a “Christian flag.” The word “Christian” on the application alone triggered the censorship. The official said he had never heard of a “Christian flag” until Camp Constitution’s application. Therefore, his testimony revealed that if Camp Constitution had not referred to the flag on the application with the word “Christian,” it would not have been censored.

The city refers to its flagpole as a “public forum” and allows private organizations to temporarily raise their own flags on the flagpoles. The city of Boston’s website even states the goals for flag raising events include, “We commemorate flags from many countries and communities at Boston City Hall Plaza. We want to create an environment in the city where everyone feels included.”

The city has even attempted to argue its flagpoles are used for private flag raisings only “15% of the time.” However, since the city has designated it as a “public forum,” this argument is useless since the city’s documented “public forums for all applicants” policy has resulted in a 100 percent approval rate, or 284 flag raisings by private organizations over the course of twelve years, except for the Christian flag. 

Other flags raised on the city’s flagpole include the Turkish flag (which depicts the Islamic star and crescent) and the Portuguese flag (which uses religious imagery). City officials have also never denied the “messages” communicated by the “Chinese Progressive Association,” the rainbow flag of Boston Pride, and a “transgender” pink and blue flag. The flags of private community groups include Albania, Brazil, Ethiopia, Italy, Panama, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, as well as of Communist China and Cuba. No flag was ever denied until the city denied the flag of Camp Constitution. 

Shurtleff and Camp Constitution first asked the city in 2017 for a permit to raise the Christian flag on Boston City Hall flagpoles to commemorate Constitution Day (September 17) and the civic and cultural contributions of the Christian community to the city of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, religious tolerance, the Rule of Law and the U.S. Constitution.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city of Boston finding that the flags were government speech. The Court wrongly accepted the city’s argument that the Establishment Clause justified its censorship. However, (1) the application form designates the flag pole as a “public forum” open for private speech; (2) the city never censored a flag in the 12 years prior to Camp Constitution’s application; (3) the city approved 39 flags (averaging over three per month) in the year prior to Camp Constitution’s  application; and (4) the flags of the foreign countries could not be government speech because under state law it is a crime to raise the flag of a foreign country on city property.

Liberty Counsel’s Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We look forward to the U.S. Supreme Court hearing Boston’s unconstitutional discrimination against Camp Constitution’s Christian viewpoint. The city cannot deny the Christian flag because it is ‘Christian’ and allow every other flag to fly on its flagpoles. There is a crucial difference between government endorsement of religion and private speech, which government is bound to respect. Censoring religious viewpoints in a public forum where secular viewpoints are permitted is unconstitutional and this case will set national precedent.”

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  • SEPT 2017 Liberty Counsel sends Boston demand letter following flag application denial.
  • JULY 2018 Original suit filed in district court.
  • AUG 2018 Court denies preliminary injunction.
  • JUNE 2019 First Circuit affirms the denial.
  • JULY 2019 LC files motion for summary judgment in district court.
  • FEB 2020 District court denies LC summary judgment and grants city’s summary judgment.
  • JAN 2021 First Circuit affirms summary judgment for city.
  • JUNE 2021 LC files writ of certiorari at SCOTUS.
  • SEPT 2021 SCOTUS takes the case.
  • JAN 18, 2022 Oral argument set at SCOTUS.


Reply Brief For The Petitioners

Petition for Certiorari

Opposition to Petition for Certiorari

Reply Brief in Support of Petition for Certiorari

Brief for Petitioners Camp Constitution

Brief for Respondent City of Boston

Reply Brief of Petitioners Camp Constitution


In Support of Liberty Counsel

Brief-Amicus-(ACLU and ACLU of Massachusetts).pdf

Brief-Amicus-(Advancing-American-Freedom-et al).pdf



Brief-Amicus-(Becket Fund for Religious Liberty).pdf



Brief-Amicus-(CPCF, et al.).pdf



Brief-Amicus-(National Legal Foundation, et al.).pdf

Brief-Amicus-(Notre Dame L. Sch. Rel. Lib. Initiative).pdf

Brief-Amicus-(Pacific Legal Foundation).pdf




Brief-Amicus-(United States).pdf

In Support of City of Boston

Brief-Amicus-(Anti-Defamation League).pdf


Brief-Amicus-(Jewish Alliance for Law, et al).pdf

Brief-Amicus-(Local Governments).pdf

Brief-Amicus-(Multi States).pdf

Brief-Amicus-(National Council of Churches, et al.).pdf


Events Surrounding Shurtleff v. City of Boston SCOTUS Oral Argument

Religious Viewpoint Case Will Affect Everyone

LC Files Reply Brief at SCOTUS in Religious Viewpoint Case

Religious Viewpoint Case at SCOTUS Will Set National Precedent

USA and 12 States Support LC in Free Speech Case

Boston’s Christian Flag Debate Heading to US Supreme Court

Liberty Counsel Files Opening Brief at SCOTUS in Religious Viewpoint Case

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Christian Flag Case

Next Step for Christian Flag: U.S. Supreme Court

Christian Flag in Boston Before Court of Appeals

Boston Censorship Continues

Christian Flag Goes Back to Court

Boston Should Fly Christian Flag

Boston Discriminates Against Christian Flag

Stop Censorship of Christian Flag

Boston Sued for Censoring Christian Flag

Group sues Boston for banning Christian flag, approving 284 others

Boston Sued For Booting Christian Flag, While Allowing Islamic Symbols

Boston Sued for Banning Christian Flag, Allowing 284 Others

284 flags including China’s OK in Boston, but not Christian banner

Boston Sued for Banning Christian Flag, Allowing 284 Others

Banned in Boston — the Christian Flag

Stop Censorship of Christian Flag

Fly the ‘Christian’ flag? Sorry, no can do

Group Denied Request to Fly Christian Flag During Event Recognizing Boston’s Christian Heritage Refiles Suit

The Point: Boston Bars the Christian Flag



Standing Up for Judeo-Christian Values – Hal Shurtleff – Episode 29

As Liberty Counsel prepares to defend a religious viewpoint censorship case before the U.S. Supreme Court, it all started with the Christian flag. Hal Shurtleff of Camp Constitution joins Mat Staver to explain more on this episode of Freedom Alive.™  – Originally premiered Dec 12, 2021 on GoodLife45 – visit