Christian Flag History

Christian Flag History

Christian Flag

The Christian Flag is one of the oldest unchanged and uncontrolled flags in the world. It belongs to all yet is owned by none. While some denominations (such as the Roman Catholics, United Methodists, and Baptists to name only a few) have specific denominational flags, the Christian Flag is nondenominational and represents Protestants of all denominations. The white background represents purity, innocence, and peace; the blue canton symbolizes sincerity and faithfulness; and the red of the cross signifies the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


The man who originally conceived of such a flag was Charles Overton, the superintendent of a church school in Brooklyn, New York. In an impromptu speech in 1897, Overton, inspired at the sight of an American flag draped over the pulpit from which he spoke, envisioned a flag that would serve as a reminder to people of all nations and cultures of their allegiance to Christianity. After several years of thinking about this idea, Overton and Ralph Diffendorfer began producing and promoting the flag in 1907. Derived from the Middle English word “fflaken” meaning to flap or flutter, flags have been adopted by many different figures throughout history reflecting their religious beliefs. Overton’s Christian Flag, however, has remained unchanged for over a hundred years. Always positioned to the right at the front of a congregation and to the right of all other flags, its simplicity of design makes it easily reproduced. Although it is not well-known by Christians world-wide, adoption of the Christian Flag spread with Protestant missionaries to Africa and Latin America, and it is readily seen outside Protestant churches throughout North America. Several versions of the pledge to the Christian Flag exist today, including but not limited to the following two versions:


“I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to our Savior, for whose kingdom it stands, one Savior, crucified, risen and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.”


“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.”

 

By Chad Creech, All Star Flags