Christian flag evidently a favorite of these TX students

Christian flag evidently a favorite of these TX students

Christian flag evidently a favorite of these TX students

When is it constitutional for a public school to fly a Christian flag?

LaPoynor School in LaRue, Texas, regularly displays a Christian flag on one of its front flagpoles, alongside the American flag and the Texas flag. But according to the Texas Tribune, it isn't the school's doing. The students, it reports, are the ones putting it up.

Lea Patterson, senior counsel at First Liberty Institute, says the question of the constitutionality of doing that is a "really interesting" situation.

"There was a Supreme Court case last year dealing with access to flying flags on flagpoles – and … typically, government flagpoles are not open to anybody to fly the flags of their choice," she tells AFN.

Patterson, Lea (First Liberty) Patterson

But under the free-speech clause of the U.S. Constitution, she says, that could be different.

"Where the government chooses to open up its properties – such as a flagpole, for people to fly flags on – then it's not the government's speech; it's those students' speech," the attorney explains. "And if the school district is opening it up for students to choose what flag is going to be flown, then it very well could be constitutional [to fly the Christian flag]."

She continues: "Basically what we're talking about is the government opening up a forum for people to express themselves; and if they've opened that up, then non-discrimination principles would tend to apply."

Reportedly, attorneys from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and some other opponents created a controversy, pushing for the flag to be taken down. As a result, students convened to form a group to serve as a committee to select what flag flies on LaPoynor School's third flag pole.

The group chooses different flags, including breast cancer awareness, and raises money to buy new flags. But superintendent Marsha Mills said the students seem to choose the Christian flag often.