There is an
incredible reverence that has developed
in the US for the country's
flag and the Pledge of Allegiance that is so commonly recited
in public and private schools, events, and patriotic ceremonies.
Flag etiquette has gone to such extremes that it, at times,
has been cause for job termination and even imprisonment! A small sample of the
rules that follow the flag of the United States are as follows:
-When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other
object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it
should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
-The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be
embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions,
handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after
-The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except
that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman,
policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
-The flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously.
Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be
illuminated if displayed at night.
-The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and
lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or
through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.
-When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with
the union to the north or east. If the street runs north-south, the stars should
face east. For streets running east-west, the stars should face north. If the
flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the
building and the stars facing away from it.
-During The Pledge of Allegiance all present except those in uniform should
stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.
And that is a small portion of the rules, regulations, and laws regarding the
flag of the US. It is treated like a deity! To the best of my knowledge, no
other country treats the flag of that country with such reverence and devotion.
It is as if we, as the US worship it. I wouldn't care as much if it was just the
unconverted and Godless of our nation who all but worshiped this piece of cloth;
this symbol of an earthly country. But it is when Christians, and Christian
schools, even churches start falling into this flag worship... That is when I
get concerned. Should we, as citizens of heaven and ambassadors for God and His
Kingdom, be so devoted to a country, even less, a flag? Why do we as Christians
'pledge our allegiance' to a flag? We are to pledge our allegiance to One only
and that One being Jesus Christ. I understand that in Romans 13, Paul stated
that every Christian should be subject unto the higher powers. However, we
need to understand that our foremost allegiance is to God. We are to be subject
and submissive to our government but that does not mean to pledge our devotion
and allegiance to it! It is clearly a form of idolatry to salute a flag and
swear our devotion to it. In James 5:12, the Bible reads, "But above all, my
brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath".
It also reminds me of Daniel 3:18. "Be it known to you, O king, that we will not
serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." And then a
point that I find very curious. Why is the pledge "to the flag"? Why not the
government? Yes it says the 'and the Republic for which it stands" but it says
'and', so the flag is still an object of allegiance.
My conclusion to this is as follows. I, as a follower of Jesus Christ, will not
participate in saying The Pledge of Allegiance, nor will I pretend to
participate by putting my hand over my heart or taking a similar posture while
others are reciting this pledge. Why? A Christian's loyalty is to the Kingdom of
Heaven, not to any earthly kingdom. As such, a Christian ought not to
participate in rituals which sanction a kingdom other than the Kingdom of
Heaven. Furthermore, in obedience to Scripture, a Christian cannot take a pledge
which he or she is not certain they will follow. Also, I do not support the idea
of the United States of America being "indivisible", which is incompatible with
liberty. The Pledge of Allegiance contains untruths regarding the US, including
the statement "with liberty and justice for all". It is quite clear to any
Christian in this country that there is not liberty and justice for all,
particularly Christians. I will not speak or proclaim these untrue statements.
And finally, The United States of America, is no longer a nation "under God" if
it ever was and I will not claim it is and in turn, give a bad name to my faith
and more seriously, tarnish the reputation of my Lord to others.
"For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to
please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of
Christ." Gal. 1:10
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