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Federal Court Protects Tradition of Religious Symbolism in County Seal in Light of Recent Supreme Court Decision

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August 8, 2019

U.S. Supreme Court in June held in The American Legion case that memorials with religious symbolism are presumptively constitutional

Philadelphia, PA—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has upheld the constitutionality of a county seal that includes religious symbolism in the case of Freedom From Religion Foundation v. County of Lehigh.  First Liberty Institute and attorney Cory Liu filed a friend-of-the-court brief at the Third Circuit in the case.

“The Supreme Court made it clear in its recent decision in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association that the days of offended observers forcing governments to scrub all public references to the divine are over,” said Stephanie Taub, Senior Counsel to First Liberty Institute.  “We’re thrilled to see our victory in that case already making an impact.  The Third Circuit found that, in light of the history of Lehigh County, the mere presence of a cross on its seal and flag does not establish a religion.”

Since 1944, the seal and flag of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, have included several symbols of particular historic significance to the community, including a cross.

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