Quantcast
Connect with us

Rural Georgia city council votes to fly ‘Christian flag’ at City Hall over objections by its own attorney

Published

on

Even after the city attorney told them it was a violation of church/state separation, the city council of little Cochran, Georgia, population 5,100, voted last week to fly the “Christian flag” over its City Hall. And the city manager tells us it’s still flying there now.

A local resident alerted us to the situation, concerned that the story wasn’t getting wider attention. WMAZ, a television station in Macon, which is about 40 miles north, wrote a brief piece about the city council’s decision, but our informant told us that the flag was also flying at the Bleckley County Courthouse and other public places.

ADVERTISEMENT

We called Cochran City Manager Richard Newbern to ask him if the story was true.

“The council voted last Tuesday, on April 14, to fly the Christian flag at City Hall,” Newbern told us. “In the past it has been flown from time to time at City Hall.”

But this time, he says, after the council voted to raise the flag, Newbern thought he better get an opinion from the city attorney.

“The attorney advised that the flag not be flown at City Hall,” he says, and it was taken down. But then the city council voted 5-1 to put it back up, and it’s been flying on a pole outside the building ever since.

ADVERTISEMENT

Newbern explained that the flag was raised in anticipation of the local “Bible Reading Marathon,” which is sponsored by the International Bible Reading Association and was first held in Cochran in 2003. The event lasts seven days on the steps of the county courthouse, with the Christian flag flying. According to the Bible Reading Marathon’s Facebook page, the setup at the county courthouse is put together by a member of the county staff…

 
BleckleyCounty

 
The Facebook page also features a photo of the flag flying at the county courthouse…

ADVERTISEMENT

 
BleckleyCourthouse

 
And at Cochran City Hall…

 
CochranCityHall

ADVERTISEMENT

 
The idea for a Christian flag dates back to a speech given at Coney Island in 1897, when a Sunday school superintendent needed to come up with something to say when a scheduled speaker failed to show up. According to the Society of the Christian Flag, in 1908 a pledge was added by a Methodist minister: “I pledge Allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Saviour for whose kingdom it stands, one brotherhood uniting all mankind in service and love.”

And of course there’s nothing wrong with places of worship and private homes flying a flag that’s meant to express unity between various Christian sects and denominations.

But flying it on public buildings is a pretty blatant violation of the First Amendment, as the city’s attorney tried to warn the city council. And with the flag also flying on businesses and homes in Cochran, it must feel to a non-believer that the town has been taken over by a local theocracy.

ADVERTISEMENT

Even the local Dairy Queen has been co-opted…

 
CochranDQ

 
We asked Newbern if he’s received any complaints from local residents about the flag flying at the public building. “No, I haven’t received any complaints.”

 

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Republicans lack the ‘moxie’ to defend America’s Kurdish allies in Syria: Ex-RNC Chair

Published

on

Republicans will criticize President Donald Trump on foreign policy, but lack the nerve to do anything meaningful to protect America's Kurdish allies in northern Syria, the former chair of the Republican Party explained on MSNBC on Wednesday.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Steele about what it would take for Republicans to serve as a check on the president.

"I think the only way to make him change his mind is -- he’s got to think they might walk," Todd said.

"Well, that would require a level of moxie that we haven’t seen from the leadership," Steele replied.

"On the foreign policy space, I think that’s the one area where we’ve seen people actually start to push back rhetorically," he noted. "But I don’t know if internally they’ve really sat down with the president and go, 'This is how damaging this is, this is how troublesome it is, and this is the problem you’re having inside the caucus.' I just don’t — at least from the folks I’ve talked to, I haven’t gotten the sense they’ve gone there yet."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Here are the two Trump claims that the Pentagon chief refused to vouch for

Published

on

The White House meeting Wednesday afternoon didn't go well for either party, according to their counterparts. Both sides are dishing on details, including a Democratic aide who said that there were two of President Donald Trump's claims that his own Pentagon chief wouldn't vouch for.

At the onset of the meeting, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) began by reading a quote from Gen. James Mattis, who briefly served in Trump's administration.

"But POTUS cut Schumer off," reported PBS News correspondent Lisa Desjardins. Trump then "said that Gen Mattis was: 'the world’s most overrated general. You know why? He wasn’t tough enough. I captured ISIS. Mattis said it would take 2 yrs. I captured them in 1 month."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Former Clinton lawyer scolds Trump’s White House counsel on impeachment: ‘we never considered’ behaving this way

Published

on

On Tuesday, Lanny Breuer, a special counsel who worked for President Bill Clinton's White House, wrote an open letter in the Washington Post to President Donald Trump's White House Counsel Pat Cipollone — telling him that, while he understands an impeachment is a horrible thing for an administration to go through, Clinton and his lawyers would never have behaved the way Trump is now.

"In 1998, we felt under siege," wrote Breuer. "We argued at the time, as you do in your letter, that Congress should provide additional procedural protections to the president ... For example, instead of conducting its own investigation, the committee relied almost exclusively on [independent counsel Ken] Starr’s report, which had serious flaws. The House took only three months to adopt articles of impeachment, and we had only two days to present our witnesses. The president’s personal lawyer, David Kendall, had only 30 minutes to question Starr. We felt this was deeply unfair and a derogation of the House’s constitutional duty to investigate thoroughly whether impeachment was warranted."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image