Throughout history flags and ribbons have been used in many significant ways – declaration and proclamation, worship, battle and celebration. Flags have become increasingly popular in churches to demonstrate freedom of expression and encourage other people to experience and try out dance and moving with their faith.
Flags and banners themselves have no power. The significance is in Scripture and what they symbolize, God ‘inhabits the praises of His people’ and brings the kingdom in when we choose to take them up in faith.
However, I feel strongly, that flags and banners should not be picked up lightly. There is a lot more power in them, than people realise. They are vehicle to talk to God, to communicate, worship and share your heart. Be aware of this, as you choose to move with them.
Let’s try and understand them a bit more…
What are banners used for? Historically in the Bible there were 4 different levels of relationship to flags and banners –
- They were a people and a people belonged to God – there was Israel’s banner of God being with them. They housed the Ark of the Covenant, with them morning and evening. It was a symbol of God saying I am with you, just like we have the Holy Spirit.
- Demonstration of military and fighting force – each tribe had one rallying point for the fighting men of the tribes. They could look to the horizon and know the banner they need to get back to.
- Tribal unit identity – 3 on each side NESW, so they knew exactly where they belonged – their identity.
- Family clan units – based on the location of other banners, families always knew where to camp. The banners acted as reference points, therefore giving individuals purpose and vision.
What can banners do?
- Tell people who you represent, but like a signal pole always high on a hill.
- Signal of intent about what is to come – Jeremiah 51.12
- Indicate past victories they’d come through – different ribbons are attached to their pole under their banner depending on the battle won. Psalm 20.5 and 7
- Indication of Gods presence – Moses and Aaron’s staff are banners that have been lifted and a response occurred. Exodus – 25
- Put enemies to flight. Isaiah 31.9
This is very quick overview of the use of flags and banners, but hopefully offers you an insight into what the Bible says, and areas to think about when you choose to dance with flags.
I like to remember it as a visual demonstration of a spiritual truth. Just like moving normally, you never know the impact moving with flags and banners can have on you and others who may witness it. The colour you use can create just as much impact.
Finally, want to come try using resources during your worship? Then join us on Saturday 9th February where you can try out ways of moving with flags, ribbons and material. No prior experience necessary, more info is here!