SALT LAKE CITY – Utah’s memorial highway crosses have been given a makeover — a move intended to prevent the court-ordered removal of the memorials from state roads, a Utah Highway Patrol Association spokesman said.

Over the past week, the 12-foot-high Roman crosses have been stripped of the brown and gold beehive-shaped logo of the Utah Highway Patrol, association attorney Frank Mylar said.

The 14 crosses still bear the names of the state troopers they were erected to honor.

The American Atheists Inc. and three of its Utah members sued the state over the crosses in 2005, claiming the memorials suggested a state endorsement of Christianity.

Last year, a three-judge panel from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed and ordered the crosses removed. State attorneys appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but justices declined to hear the case.

On Monday, civil rights attorney Brian Barnard asked a Utah federal judge to issue a final order for the cross removal.

The removal of the UHP logo from the crosses doesn’t solve the religious-endorsement problem, he said.

“It’s a step in the right direction,” Barnard said. “But the cross still remains a poignant religious symbol and it’s in a prominent place on government property where no other organization or individual is given permission to have a similar display.”