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Monday, 23 April 2007

image for St George's Day Wiccan victory over war graves pentacle ban
The Pentacle: a St George's Day victory for the Sign of the Goddess

Madison, Wisconsin - (Rioters): The Pentagon's dragon of ignorance and bigotry was finally slain on St George's Day as the US Department of Veteran Affairs caved in on a headstones pentacle ban that had outlawed the ancient Wiccan symbol from the official emblems of belief recognised by the US military.

National cemetaries will now be permitted to display the five pointed sign that represent earth, air, fire, water and spirit, on goverment-issued headstones of fallen soldiers, according to a settlement announced Monday.

"It's a great day of Wiccan achievement coming as it does on St George's Day," Luke Skyclad told the press today.

"Far too long we've battled this bigoted monster that allowed other beliefs to mark their loved ones' military gravestones with their traditional symbols but exluded us.

"Today that monster is gone."

Selena Fox, a Wiccan high priestess with Circle Sanctuary in Barneveld, Wisconsin - a plaintiff in the lawsuit - said today that eleven families nationwide are waiting for grave markers with the pentacle which can now be placed on grave markers within 14 days for those who have pending requests with the VA.

"And with the Wiccan calendar's greatest feastday of Beltane imminent victory is all the more sweet for us today."

The VA has agreeed to pay the eleven families' expenses in the suit amounting to some $225,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.

Today's decision brings to a total of 39 symbols the VA now already permits on gravestones.

Tose represented include Christianity, Buddhism, Islam and Judaism, "as well as those for smaller religions such as Sufism Reoriented, Eckiankar and the Japanese faith Seicho-No-Ie" according to their website.

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