A couple of months ago, there was news about a woman whose daughter was in an Italian school. The woman complained because there were crucifixes in the class, and eventually she brought her case to the European court. This court ruled that these crucifixes should be removed because it could offend a non-Christian. It is important to remember that all classrooms have these in Italy, plus all courtrooms. They have a cultural heritage of 2,000 years.
A great decision was made by the Italian court, which basically says that if a European Union law contradicts an Italian law, the EU law will be invalid. So the crucifixes will stay.
But if we believe that a cross and/or crucifix has the potential to "offend" somebody and that it cannot be displayed in public, then we will have encountered an enormous problem. In Europe and around the world, MANY countries contain a cross. What if someone claimed to be offended by the cross depicted on a flag? Would the country be forced to change it?
Just to give you an idea, the following is a list of countries which depict a cross (thanks Wikipedia):
- Australia - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
- Denmark - a Scandinavian cross
- Dominican Republic - a centered white cross that extends to the edges and divides the flag into four rectangles
- England - the St George's Cross
- Fiji - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
- Finland - a Scandinavian cross
- Georgia (country) - the "five-cross flag"; the central element of the flag is St. George's Cross (used also in the national flag of England); there is one smaller cross within each of the four quadrants
- Greece - a cross in the upper hoist corner
- Iceland - a Scandinavian cross
- Jamaica - a Saint Andrew's Cross
- Malta - a George Cross in the upper hoist corner (in the canton of the white stripe)
- Moldova - in the coat of arms appearing in the center stripe, a stylized eagle is holding a cross in its beak
- Montenegro - two crosses appear in the two crowns depicted in the coat of arms contained in the flag
- New Zealand - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
- Norway - a Scandinavian cross
- Portugal - Compound cross of five quinas, each one charged with five saltire-arranged bezants
- San Marino - a cross appears in the crown depicted in the coat of arms contained in the flag
- Scotland - the Saint Andrew's Cross
- Serbia - cross in crown and cross in inescutcheon, both in coat of arms appearing in flag
- Slovakia - double cross on top of mountain, appearing in coat of arms contained in flag
- Spain - one cross in each of three crowns, as well as a cross in the fourth quarter of the shield (for Navarre), all appearing in embedded coat of arms
- Sweden - a Scandinavian cross
- Switzerland - a bold, equilateral white cross in the center of the flag
- Tonga - a red cross appearing as a canton of a red ensign
- Tuvalu - the Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
- United Kingdom - the three crosses of the Union Flag: St. George's Cross, St. Andrews Cross, and the Irish saltire
- Vatican City - a cross on the top of the papal tiara in the coat of arms of the right side of the flag
- Pitcairn Islands - Union Flag in the upper hoist quarter
This is why I say it's such a great thing that the Vatican is not a member of the EU or UN.