Has The ACLU Ever Complained About This? (Fire Dept. Crosses)?

For some historical reason, Fire Departments in the USA use the Swiss Cross (equal length arms) as their symbol-it appears on their badges, etc.). Given the ACLU’s aversion to any hint of religious symbolism, have they ever sued to remove these? Has such a case ever gone to court?

Your premise seems faulty.

Or I’m having trouble seeing the religious symbolism.

I’ve always assumed they were stylised shamrocks.

It’s an adaption of the Maltese cross.


The ACLU doesn’t have an aversion to “any hint of religious symbolism.” They have an aversion to symbols that violate the Constitution’s establishment of religion clause.

I doubt the ACLU would look at this as a violation of that clause.

That’s because we’re accustomed to it. And to see crosses on flags, city arms, military medals, etc… So, they look like meaningless symbols to us.

But that’s not random : there are crosses on our flags and such because of christianism. So, if you come from a culture where crosses aren’t as widespread, you’re going to notice it much more and to make the connection with the western religion. Muslim nations certainly did when they decided to replace the red cross with a red crescent.

The Red Cross is thinking about creating a new, religious-neutral, symbol to adress this issue, in fact.

Rather: they have an aversion to what they BELIEVE violates the Constitution’s establishment clause.

Often the courts tell the ACLU that their vision of the Establishment Clause is wrong.

I think this is more prevalent in Europe than the US. That is not to say it dorsn’t happen in the US, just not as frequently.

Yeah, nothing should ever cross anything else, because oh noes, religious symbolism.

It’s usually the religionists that go crazy when two things happen to cross each other-remember that stupid “9-11 Cross” they made such a big fuss over?

Actually, it looks like the Red Cross/Red Crescent group has already picked out an alternate symbol. But it does appear that the new symbol is not meant to replace the old symbols, but to be used when either the cross or crescent isn’t, appropriate?

Yeah, but in Europe we don’t care what the Constitution says. And the Supreme Court can go spit up a rope.

Interesting; in Chicago set TV there’s a thought-provoking building portrayed with a Diamond roof.
This reminds me of that.

This: Crain Communications Building - Wikipedia

Unfortunately the picture doesn’t show it off as well as one from taken from greater distance. At night the edge of the scarfed face is brightly outlined in blue-white. It’s pretty striking.

More & better pics: https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&site=imghp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&q=crain+communications+building

These things go without saying.

But I’d bet the ACLU wins more than it loses on this issue.

Yeah, if only because they wouldn’t take on cases they didn’t think they had a chance of winning.

I don’t know any numbers specifically for the Establishment Clause cases, nor for cases in all courts, but the ACLU’s “batting average” in cases decided by the US Supreme Court from 1920 to 1999 is analyzed here. Our* overall success rate is something over 56%.

  • speaking as a proud card-carrying ACLU member

I do like the way they’ve apparently thought it through aliteratively. I imagine other candidates in the running to have included the Red Crown, Red Cravat and Red Crumpet.

But the photos turned up in that search don’t show any night pics, at least not that I immediately noticed on the first page of results.

This search for crain communications building at night shows a few.