by Ronald W. Kirk
The Banner of the Cross and Flag of Our Union
Anniversary Meeting of the American Sunday School Union in Boston, May 27, 1852.
Let the Banner of the Cross go forth side by side with the Flag of our Union wherever it is carried; let the Spirit of the Lord be invoked to accompany the Spirit of Liberty in its triumphant march; let the Bible be everywhere on the same shelf with the Constitution; let there be no region so remote, no valley so secluded, no wilderness so solitary or so desolate, that men shall be able to escape from the visible presence of Religion, as manifested in the observance of the Lord’s Day, and in that most attractive and fascinating of all its forms,—the religious instruction of young children; let this be accomplished, and, depend upon it, the people of this country will have much less to fear for the stability of their institutions, and Congresses and Cabinets will have much less to do to preserve the Union. There will then, too, be no longer any doubt that we are “a power on earth;” a power for every purpose of promoting either the welfare of men, or the glory of God.
Robert Charles Winthrop, seventh generation descendant of founding Puritan governor John Winthrop and one-time Speaker of the House of Representatives and United States Senator, reveals his understanding of this truth: The flag or ensign of a people or nation declares the character and ideals of that people in symbolic form. The hammer and sickle of the USSR obviously stood for pure materialism and the absolute authority of the state. The Encyclopedia Britannica says that early flags were “almost purely of a religious character.” For example, for centuries the English ensign was the red cross of St. George. Over time that flag would evolve to its present form. “The national flag of the British Empire is the union Jack in which are combined in union the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew and St. Patrick.”
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The flag is folded thirteen times.
The 1st fold of the flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of the belief in eternal life.
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