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Stephen L. Carter

A Christian Flag Roiled Boston City Hall. It Shouldn’t Have.

From flag-waving to flag-burning, hoisting a banner is a form of speech — as the Supreme Court unanimously recognized.


An open forum.


An open forum.

Photographer: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Shed a tear for the sadness that’s surely felt throughout Boston, Massachusetts, now that applications are no longer being accepted for flag-raising ceremonies in City Hall Plaza. The shutdown was adopted in anticipation of last week’s unanimous and entirely predictable Supreme Court ruling that the city cannot refuse to fly a flag commemorating “the civic and social contributions of the Christian community” on a pole where in recent years it has allowed so many others.

Nobody thinks the shutdown is permanent, and there’s concern aplenty about what happens when the plaza is reopened to celebrations. The Satanic Temple, according to news reports, hopes to be first in line.