It appears that the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) is skirting the boundaries of the Constitution by not providing a religious marker on a fallen soldier’s grave marker. The soldier, Sgt. Patrick Stewart, is believed to be the first Wiccan to have died in the line of duty, and his widow asked for his memorial plaque to have the Wiccan symbol inscribed, like many other markers around that are inscribed with other religious symbols. According to the Washington Post,
The department has approved the symbols of 38 other faiths; about half of are versions of the Christian cross. It also allows the Jewish Star of David, the Muslim crescent, the Buddhist wheel, the Mormon angel, the nine-pointed star of Bahai and something that looks like an atomic symbol for atheists.
The article goes on to say that an initial request was made to include the Wiccan Pentagram in the Department’s listing of approved symbols nine years ago. Since that time, eleven other symbols have been approved, but the Wiccan symbol is still pending.
Source: “Fallen Soldier Gets a Bronze Star but No Pagan Star”
(Washington Post, July 4, 2006: Page A02)