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March 13

The Christian Flag and the Hymn, “Onward Christian Soldiers”

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Coney Island
September 26, 1897

The speaker couldn’t make it for the Sunday School kickoff. Superintendent Charles Overton had to stand on his behalf. As he begins the impromptu speech, Overton caught sight of the flag near the podium. He then proceeded to talk about flags and their symbolism. After the speech, an idea about Christians having their own flag lingered in his thoughts.

Years later, he collaborated with Ralph Diffendorfer, secretary to the Methodist Young People’s Missionary Movement. They worked on the design as conceptualized by Overton and brought us what we now know as the “Christian Flag.”

What Each Color Represents:

White -purity and peace

Blue- truth, fidelity, baptism

Red- Christ’s blood, Cross

All the colors and their assigned meanings were representations of the Christian values with the cross as the highlight. Thus, the need for the pledge.

The Pledge:

I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag and to the Saviour for whose kingdom it stands; one brotherhood, uniting all mankind in service and in love.

Just as there are pledges to national flags, so does with the Christian flag. Aiming to unite all groups, the Christian’s pledge is for brotherhood and unity among all believers regardless of the denomination or group.

What is it for:

It’s universal and meant to symbolize Christianity as one. No denomination or groups could have a monopoly on it.

It was accepted by the majority of Protestant churches by the late 1900s. To date, we see Christian flags displayed inside church buildings and outside Christian schools.

Speaking of which what’s more appropriate than a song that embodies the said virtues? This time, our pick is one that’s done by kids. While we don’t know what Jesus’ banner would be like once he comes, it still is appropriate to think that our allegiance is to his eternal kingdom and not on anything temporal.

“Onward Christian Soldiers” by the Cedarmont Kids

Trivia: Did you know that “Onward, Christian Soldiers” was not intended for publishing?

It’s composer, Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould wrote the hymn in haste as a supplementary song for the children to sing while marching in the Neighboring village.


Tags

Charles overton, Christian flag, gospel, hymn


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