On May 2. 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the refusal of the City of Boston to permit the flying of a Christian flag, on a flag pole located at Boston’s City Hall Plaza. In Shurtleff v City of Boston Massachusetts, the Court ruled that the City had violated the First Amendment right of free speech in denying permission to fly the flag at issue.
The Boston City Hall Plaza has been used for various public events and the City has acknowledged the space is a “public forum”. The Plaza contains three flag poles, one flying the American Flag, one flying the flag of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the third either flying the Boston Flag or, with permission from the City, the flag of a group holding a ceremony in the plaza. Between 2005 and 2017, 284 ceremonies, flying 50 different flags were held in the Plaza.