The Christian Flag is a universal Christian flag designed in the early 1900s to represent all of Christianity, regardless of denomination.
The idea of an ecumenical Christian flag was conceived on US soil and unsurprisingly it matches the colors of the United States flag – white, blue and red.
Each color in the Christian flag has a specific symbolist:
- White – Purity, peace and holiness.
- Blue – Fidelity, loyalty and truth.
- Red – Jesus Christ’s blood that was shed for our sins and salvation.
However, it’s worth noting that there are no official specifications for the canton and dimensions of the Christian flag.
The Christian flag was initially adopted by the USA’s Federal Council of Churches on January 23rd, 1942.
Since then these Christian flags have been used in a myriad of Christian denominations and churches such as:
Still, this flag can usually be seen across Protestant Christian churches and schools in North America, South American and Africa.
And in this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of the Christian flag and what the official pledge is.
History and Origin of the Christian Flag
The original idea of having an official Christian flag came about during an impromptu speech of Charles Overton in the late 19th century.
It was on September 26th, 1897 at a Rally Day meeting at the Brighton Chapen in Coney Island that the scheduler speaker failed to show up and Charles Overton had to improvise.
At the time Mr. Overton was a superintendent of a church school located in Brooklyn, NY whose main inspiration for the Christian flag was the flag of the United States itself.
His idea and goal were to make a universal flag that will remind Christians across different churches and denominations that they belong to Christ.
But it took Charles Overton a decade to fulfill his vision as he teamed up with Ralph Diffenderfer who was secretary to the Methodist Young People’s Missionary Movement at the time.
As a result, in 1907 Overton and Diffenderfer began to produce and promote the newly formed ecumenical Christian flag.
And while other Christian flags might’ve changed, the simple design of Charles Overton’s Christian flag has remained the same for more than 100 years.
The Christian Flag Pledge
The first and perhaps the original pledge to the Christian flag was written a Methodist pastor named Lynn Harold Hough.
Lynn Hough hear Ralph Diffenderfer’s Christian flag presentation at a rally and decided to write the following pledge:
“I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Savior for whose Kingdom it stands; one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.”
However, this is a rather broad pledge that’s been revised by more conservative churches who typically use a more detailed version of the Christian flag pledge:
“I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands; one Savior, crucified, risen, and coming again with life and liberty to all who believe.”
Nonetheless, the pledge that typically accompanies the salute to the Christian flag may come in many different versions depending on the church.
For example, some churches go for a version that emphasizes ecumenism, while others focus on pledging allegiance to the cross of the Christian flag and some even employ an affirmation of loyalty to the Christian flag.
The Symbolist of the Christian Flag’s Colors
The Christian flag closely resembles the US flag due to using the same color palette.
But apart from the obvious inspiration from the American flag, the colors of the Christian one can be interpreted in the following way:
- The while field – Represents holiness, peace and purity.
- The blue canton – Portrays truth and loyalty and perhaps even heaven and/or the waters related to baptist.
- The red cross – Represents Jesus Christ and his redemptive work on the cross.
Combined, all of these colors and symbols represent the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
That is, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was pure (without sin) died on the cross for our sins to give us salvation through grace so that we serve Him in holiness and fidelity, as Christ is faithful to us.
Is There an Official Christian Flag?
There isn’t a particular flag that’s considered the go-to official Christian flag for all Christian churches.
However, that’s exactly why Charles Overton’s Christian Flag was designed – to be the universal flag for all Christians and Christendom.
Ever since it was first adopted by the Federal Council of Churches in the early 1940s, the Christian flag courtesy of Overton and Diffenderfer has somewhat become the main flag for many Christian denominations and churches.
Nowadays, this flag is used by various churches from Protestants to Presbyterians across North America, Latin America and Africa.
Still, some conservative Christians object to the Christian flag with some claiming that it’s unnecessary and that the only symbol of our faith that we need is the cross.
The Bible Says Nothing About Christian Flags
The Bible doesn’t specifically advise believers to make Christians flags, nor does it advocate the related pledge to the flag.
This is a man-made thing that isn’t a requirement of faith and definitely not something related to one’s salvation.
Remember – we are saved by grace through faith, not by works (Ephesians 2:8).
But this doesn’t mean that the Christian flag lacks any Biblical connection as the cross is undoubtedly Biblical.
The cross on the Christian flag represents Jesus’ redemptive work by paying the ultimate price for our sins when he shed his sinless blood by being crucified.
Eventually, the Christian flag can be a great reminder for every church and denomination out there that every Holy Spirit-filled believer belongs to our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ.
This is exactly what Charles Overton envisioned when he came up with the idea of making a universal Christian flag that can be used by all Christian churches and denominations.
Although the Bible doesn’t specifically instruct us to make any flags that showcase our faith, it’s still nice to have a reminder such as the Christian flag.
It can be a very useful tool that can be used in churches and schools to keep us focused and fully committed to Jesus who died for us, so that we may have eternal life by believing in Him (John 3:16).