NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A federal judge denied a Christian group's request to display a 12-foot cross at a Fourth of July celebration at a city park in Chesapeake.

U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar denied the application of Christian Rights Ministries. The ministries said it was told last year to remove the religious symbol after the group said city workers called the cross "too blatantly Christian."

At the court hearing in Norfolk, however, the workers said they had the cross removed for safety reasons.

Ministries founder Steve Taylor filed the civil-rights suit against Chesapeake and asked for an injunction to force the city to allow the cross at this year's celebration.

Chesapeake's city attorney, Jeffrey Salb, said other Christian groups have participated in the celebration without incident.