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Board of Education to discuss flag issue at next meeting

The Unicoi County Board of Education will address the issue of the Christian flag on display in their meeting room during their next scheduled school board meeting, according to Director of Schools John English.
No meeting was currently scheduled in the month of December. The board’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 14.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) recently asked the Unicoi County Board of Education to remove the Christian Flag from school board meetings, according to a press release issued on the organization’s website dated Nov. 11.
According to FFRF, the group is the nation’s largest association of freethinkers (atheists, agnostics), the foundation sent a letter to the board after a concerned parent contacted the group.
“The Christian flag being displayed during public school board meetings unabashedly created the perception of government endorsement of Christianity,” FFRF Staff Attorney Rebecca Markert stated in the letter to the board. “The display of this Christian flag is a brazen affront to the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
“Courts have continually held that school districts may not display religious messages of iconography in public schools. A majority of federal courts have held displays of Latin crosses on public property to be unconstitutional endorsement of religion.”
The information provided by FFRF was featured on a news release issued on the foundation’s website.
“The presence of this Christian symbol sends a message not only that the school board inappropriately endorses Christianity, but that the non-Christian children and parents in the community are disfavored. That’s utterly shocking and unacceptable,” FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in the release.