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Posted: May 04, 2015

Town to remove Christian flag flying over city hall

(Facebook/Bible Reading Marathon)
(Facebook/Bible Reading Marathon)

By Kristina Torres

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A small town's city council - against the advice of its attorneys - voted to fly a Christian flag over city hall to promote a local Bible-reading marathon.

What could go wrong?

City officials in Cochran, Ga., have now bowed to threats of legal action and "fiscal" concerns and will remove the flag on Friday.

The controversy began early last month when the Cochran City Council voted to help promote a local Bible-reading marathon sponsored by the International Bible Reading Association.

While city officials have said local residents supported the decision, national groups including the D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State said they have received several complaints over the matter.

The group recently sent letters to both the city and Bleckley County, Georgia — which has flown the flag in the past — declaring that flying the Christian flag on public property violates the First Amendment.

The group in part cited a recent legal case in which a North Carolina city agreed to stop displaying the Christian flag, which includes a Latin cross, at a government-sponsored veterans memorial.

The decision to fly and then remove the flag comes just one month after a North Georgia county caught heck for raising the Confederate battle flag over its courthouse.

In a statement on its website, the city of Cochran said it has decided to take the flag down “after reviewing further input from the community, detailed written legal opinions from our city attorney and a second legal opinion from a constitutional lawyer.”

In the future, the city said it would only fly the U.S. and state flags at city hall.

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