The creation of the Christian flag happened purely by accident. In 1897, Brighton Chapel in Coney Island, New York held a kick-off rally for a Sunday School program. Unfortunately, the scheduled guest speaker didn’t arrive, forcing the Superintendent of Schools, Charles Overton, to take the pulpit. Unprepared to speak and spying the American flag displayed nearby, Overton began to talk about symbolism and what a Christian flag would look like.
For several years, the ideal of a Christian flag stuck with Overton and in 1907 he brought the original concept to reality. Rather than placing focus on a specific church or group, the flag was designed to speak to all Christian denominations and quickly found popularity in Protestant, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches around the globe. The flag inspired Lynn Hough, a Methodist pastor, to write the Pledge to the Christian Flag in 1908. Today, what started off as an accident is an iconic symbol of faith, recognizable to millions around the world.
With its original basis in the American flag, it’s no surprise that the two share a common color scheme. However, in the Christian flag, the tones take on slightly different meanings. The majority of the flag is made up of a field of white to represent purity, innocence, peacefulness and the need to surrender to God. The blue square in the upper left corner serves as a reminder of heaven, baptismal waters and fidelity. Within the blue square resides a red cross, symbolizing the blood Jesus shed as he died on Calvary as well as the sacrifices Christians are called upon to make.Displaying a Christian flag in a church, worship center, religious education classroom or even at home is a display of allegiance to both God and Christianity. Choose made in USA flags to fly from flag poles outside as a public display. Or, opt for indoor flag sets to display a Christian flag trimmed in gold fringe for a distinctive and regal look. Displaying a Christian flag alongside an American flag is an excellent way to reinforce the ties between patriotism and religion.