The shield comes in language inserted into the 2014 Defense Authorization Act by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine.
“This provision creates a foundation in federal law for emblems of belief on war memorials and monuments,” Hunter said Thursday. “Emblems of belief … should be protected.”
His amendment is expected to win approval when the full bill comes up for a final vote in the House, which is set for Friday.
The language specifies that federal war memorials or those sanctioned by the American Battle Monuments Commission can include any of 57 religious symbols authorized by the National Cemetery Association, including the Christian cross.
The amendment has gone unchallenged in the House, according to Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper.
But the group Americans United for Separation of Church and State is objecting.