I've been thinking about flags a lot this week...
I just read an article about the creator of the Rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker. He was talking about the contention surrounding this flag in many parts of the world. He said, "That's what flags are for. Flags are about proclaiming power ... that visibility is key to our success and to our justice."
The other bit of flag news was the removal of the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, sparked by the murder of nine black Christians during a Bible study. Regarding the flag, Gov. Nikki Haley said "This flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our great state."
Flags should not be waved carelessly. They are powerful; they are important.
Flags are a more than a visible, symbolic representation of a group of people. Flags are powerful declaration of the values and principles, the goals and ambitions and often, the authority and dominion of a group or a country. These are part of group identity. These also help to form personal identity.
The flag a group chooses to fly should represent the present and, most importantly, the future of the group. The flags an individual chooses to fly should also represent his or her present and future.
Waiving a colourful piece of cloth around is one very visible way to proclaim identity. The identity we have or want to have can be taken-on by the way we speak to ourselves, the way we speak to others, the principles and values we hold and the things we want for our futures.
Which flags are we waving? Which identities are we claiming? Which principles and values are we aligning ourselves with?
This is the flag that makes my heart sing:
"His banner over me is love..." -- Song of Songs 2:4 NKJV