Today the Christian Flag is one of the oldest unchanged flags in the world. It was conceived at Brighton Chapel, Coney Island, New York, Sunday, September 26, 1897, and was presented in its present form the following Sunday by its originator. Call it chance, or providence, serendipity, or the plan of God. On that day, the Christian Flag was born.
All church flags are organizational symbols of specific corporate, legal, religious entities. The Roman Catholics, Episcopalians, United Methodists, Baptists, United Church of Christ, and others have flags, official or otherwise, but limited to their use and ruled by them. Not so with the Christian Flag. This flag stands in its own right, shines by its own spiritual light, true, free, untrammeled, uncompromised. It belongs only to Christ and the Cross which symbol it bears.
Many are the theories of the atonement of God and persons through the sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross, and many are the theological nuances meticulously spun out by the Christologists. There is one thing, however, upon which all of the interpretations of the atonement agree, namely, the indispensable centrality of the Cross. Because of that Cross, Jesus is not just another miracle worker recorded in the passing pages of Roman history. He is Christ, the Son of God, sacrificial and triumphant, the Savior of the world, the world God so loved.
So understood, the Cross of Christ on the Christian Flag is the summation of it all. And to be adequate to its high purpose, the new Affirmation of Loyalty to the Christian Flag expressly includes that Cross.
The minister or lay person will proceed as follows, saying:
1. Let us stand facing the Christian Flag.
2. Let us repeat the Affirmation of Loyalty in unison.
“I affirm my loyalty to the Christian Flag and to our savior whose cross it bears, one spiritual fellowship under that cross, uniting us in service and love.”
3. Let each person conclude the Affirmation with a slight but positive nod to the Flag. The congregation may now sing one or more verses from a hymn of its choice, such as Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus, or other appropriate selection.
4. Let us now participate in our Christian Fellowship by holding hands in an inclusive chain from person to person and pew to pew during the concluding prayer. The minister or lay person presiding will offer here a brief appropriate prayer, marking the conclusion of this celebration of the Affirmation of Loyalty to the Christian Flag.
“I pledge allegiance
To the Christian Flag
And to the Saviour,
For whose Kingdom it stands.
One Saviour, crucified,
risen and coming again,
With life and liberty
for all who believe.”
Located by Ned Smith, 17 June 1999.
Many school children in private Christian schools immediately following the pledge to the American flag turn to the Christian Flag right hand still over the heart and recite:
PLEDGE TO THE CROSS
I pledge allegiance to the cross, of our Lord Jesus Christ,
And to the faith for which it stands, one Savior, eternal,
with mercy and grace for all.