The Salvation Army flag

Every regiment goes into battle with its standard leading the way. In a very similar way, the Salvation Army flag leads the Army into battle. The battle is against Satan, the war is to beat out evil. The banner leads the Army into victory for the Bible declares that the victory is the Lord's.

From the very early days of the Salvation Army, the flag would head all processions around towns and villages, and proudly proclaim that Christ is Lord. Today that same flag heads all processions still, and is an important part of all Salvation Army ceremonies.

However, it has more meaning than that. The flag consists of three colours. As in the Anglican church with its liturgical colours, the three colours of the flag have a very special meaning. The relevance of the colours is as real today as it has ever been.

BLUE stands for the Holiness and purity of God. The Salvation Army believes that all members should strive to live a Holy Life, and to aim for purity and to be like God. Such is vital in the war against Satan and in this world.

RED stands for the Blood of Jesus. The Salvation Army makes no secret of the fact that sin is very real in this world. However it is recognised that no one deserves salvation. It is through the shedding of the Blood of Christ on the cross, that we have forgiveness, new life, and a relationship with God, the Father. The Blood of Christ protects the soldiers in the war against Satan. Each soldier needs to recognise the sacrifice that Christ made to bring us to where we are today.

YELLOW stands for the fire and power of the Holy Spirit. When Christ ascended into heaven to be with His Father, He promised that the Holy Spirit would come and be the living presence of God on this earth. The Salvation Army believes that the Holy Spirit empowers his people on the earth and equips them for the war in which they fight. The Salvation Army encourages all its soldiers to seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Indeed the Army recognises that it is only with the Holy Spirit that they are able to fight in this war.

Just those three colours have great meaning. That is why the flag is so important to so many people. Simply because it proclaims Jesus as Lord, and proclaims what the Army believes and stands for.

You will very often find that the flag is used in some ceremonies. At the dedication of a child, the flag is used to remind the parents of the principles on which we stand, and how the child should be brought up the days ahead.

At the enrolment of soldiers the flag will be used, as a symbol of the war in which they will fight and the standards in which they need to accept.

It is fitting that at the end of the soldiers' fighting days, the flag will be present at the funeral to proclaim that this was the one who fought the war behind this banner.

Throughout the world, the same banner is held high. It is important to state that there is nothing magical about this flag, and in honestly it is only a piece of cloth. Yet, it is used to proclaim salvation to all the world, and to proclaim what is believed.