Constitutionality of Government Commission’s Use of Logo Including an Historical Cross in its Design


The Christopher Columbus Quincentenary Commission’s use of a logo consisting of the number 500 with a cross in one of the zeros, and a star in the other, does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The use of a cross with clear historical associations in the design of a government commission’s logo is compatible with the Supreme Court’s holding in Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668 (1984). Furthermore, the Establishment Clause does not require a per se rule against the inclusion of religious symbolism in government emblems.

Updated July 9, 2014