Judge Orders Removal of San Diego Cross Honoring Veterans

A long-disputed landmark in San Diego may have to be removed from government property after a federal judge ruled it violates the constitution.

filephoto mount soledad cross la jolla

File photo of cross on Mount Soledad (Credit: Jim and Rachel McArthur/flickr via Creative Commons)

The 48-foot white cross has stood on Mount Soledad since 1954 when it was erected as part of a national memorial honoring war veterans.

However, the display’s war memorial status has been challenged by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America and several local residents.

“When men and women go off to war, they go off under the flag of the United States, not under a religious symbol,” Deputy Director of ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties Jeff Wergeles told Fox5 San Diego.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ruled the cross was an unconstitutional religious display.

The judge ordered the cross be removed within 90 days, but stayed the order pending an expected appeal, according to the television station’s report.

The landmark has been the subject of more than two decades of litigation.