Pensacola (WKRG) – Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward says the city will look to a federal court to protect the Bayview Park Cross. Last week, a court ordered the cross be removed from the park, in a ruling of Kondrat’yev v. City of Pensacola, because it is a religious symbol.
According to the City of Pensacola, the Junio Chamber of Commerce put a wooden cross in the park in 1941 as the U.S. was preparing to enter World War II. That cross was eventually replaced with the current cross in 1969. The city says the cross has served as a gathering place for both religious and nonreligious groups for decades and is part of the city’s history.
“The Bayview Cross has played an important role in the history of Pensacola for over 75 years,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward. “We have a rich and diverse history that is worth celebrating. The Constitution doesn’t require us to erase our history just because part of that history is religious.”
Becket, a nationally recognized non-profit religious liberty law firm, has agreed to represent the city in the appeal at no charge.