County appealing atheist victory over cross on county seal

EASTON, Pa. — A Pennsylvania county is appealing a federal judge's ruling that the image of a large Christian cross on the county's flag and seal is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

Lehigh County Commissioners voted Wednesday to appeal the ruling last month stemming from lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation and four local members. They objected to the cross's inclusion on the flag and seal and sought its removal.

The judge who ruled wrote that he doesn't personally believe the cross violates the Constitution, but said he was bound by a 1971 decision to side with the Wisconsin-based atheist group.

The judge cited a county record showing the cross was added in 1944 to signify that "Christianity" and "God-fearing people" are the "foundation and backbone" of the county.

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