DeLand fights to keep seal deemed too religious by group

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DELAND, Fla. - The city of DeLand is fighting to hang on to its 131-year-old city seal.

A national group sent the city a letter, telling them their seal was too religious and it had to go or face a lawsuit.

In a letter that the city sent to Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, the city said it has had the seal since 1882 and there's no way it's going to change it now.

"It actually did come as a big surprise for us," said city manager Michale Pleus.

Pleus said, "They believe our seal was unconstitutional because of the cross, heart and anchor."

The group said the symbols represent Christian values.

The city manager said the seal reflects its history and the values the city was founded on, so DeLand is going to stick with the seal.

"We're confident our analysis is correct and we've had offers of support from around the country to actually help us defend our seal if it comes to that," Pleus said.

Residents said they agree with the city leaders and they don't think the seal should be changed.

"I don't think there is a need to change it at all," resident Ashley Braddock. "I think that would be ridiculous."

The city said since it has now responded, the next move is up to the group.