Christian Flag over American Flag?

Christian over American FlagYes. On church grounds, inside or out, the Christian flag can be flown above the American during services.

Here is the link to the interview of the pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church.

Click here to read other posts with the tag, flag etiquette.

The following is an excerpt from my book, The Honor Guard Manual.

MYTH

“Nothing can be above the American flag.” Part II

The only flag that may be flown above or to the right of the American flag is… The Christian flag/pennant.

  • American Law: The Bill of Rights, Article 1, The Constitution of the United States: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
  • The United States Navy: During the Service of Divine Worship led by the Fleet Chaplain, a triangular Pennant of White with a blue Latin cross is flown at the masthead above the American flag.
  • The State of California: Excerpted from Stars, Stripes and Statues, National Flag Foundation, p. 66, item 2. No flag or pennant shall be placed above, or if on the same level, to the right of, the United States flag, except flags flown during church services.

The Code for the Christian Flag

  1. When the Christian flag is on the floor level, the Christian flag is placed to the right, front, of the congregation and outside of the communion railing.
  2. When the Christian flag is placed within the chancel, communion railing or choir loft, it is placed to the right side of the altar, of the clergymen, and of the choir as they face the congregation.
  3. When the Christian flag is displayed with the American flag and/or other flags:
    1. The American flag and/or other flags may be placed symmetrically on the opposite side of the sanctuary and on the same level as the Christian flag.
    2. If desired, it is also proper to place the Christian and national flags side-by-side wherever stationed in the church, thus symbolizing both the spiritual and patriotic loyalties of the congregation.
    3. When the flags are placed side-by-side, the Christian flag is always stationed on the right of all other flags.
    4. The Christian flag never dips to any other flag. It may properly dip to the altar Cross.
  4. Use of the Christian flag in other situations:
    1. Where a Cross is carried in a processional, the Cross leads, followed by the Christian flag.
    2. In a single-column processional, the Christian flag precedes all other flags.
    3. In a double-column processional, the Christian flag is on the right.
    4. When the Christian flag is on the same flagpole with any other flag, the Christian flag receives the top position.
    5. Where the Christian flag and another flag are on separate poles, the Christian flag is on the right as it faces the street or audience.
    6. In placing the Christian flag staff in its supporting base, it should be adjusted so that the blue canton and Cross are turned toward the congregation.
    7. No other symbol or flag should ever be placed above the Cross.

Christian Flag Code information courtesy of: www.steve4u.com/christian/facts.htm

6 thoughts on “Christian Flag over American Flag?”

  1. Thanks for this post! I have a question. You say it is a myth that the American flag must always have primacy. I have seen this:

    The Flag Code (United States Statutes at Large, Seventy-seventh Congress, Second Session 1942, Volume 56 — Part I, Public Laws) states in Section 3 (k):

    “When displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium, the [American] flag should occupy the position of honor and be placed at the clergyman’s or speaker’s right as he faces the congregation or audience. Any other flag so displayed in the chancel or on the platform should be placed to the clergyman’s or speaker’s left as he faces the congregation or audience. But when the flag is displayed from a staff in a church or public auditorium elsewhere than in the chancel or on the platform, it shall be placed in the position of honor at the right of the congregation or audience as they face the chancel or platform. Any other flag so displayed should be placed on the left of the congregation or audience as they face the chancel or platform.”

    You list the examples of a Navy tradition and a California law that seem to contradict this but do you know of any federal law that qualifies the above statute concerning church worship? The federal law seems quite explicit about what is to be done in church and it does not allow for the American flag to be on the left.

  2. “… do you know of any federal law that qualifies the above statute concerning church worship? ”

    I’m trying to determine if there is a FEDERAL law that makes the exception for worship. It reads to me like there is a conflict between what the California law says and the Flag Code says. How do we resolve that?

    Thanks!

    1. Great question. My research came up with what you read here on my site. Just don’t know how to resolve it. I do know that the Christian churches I attended over the years had the Christian flag to the right of the American.

      1. Thanks for your feedback. I have found no simple resolution to the conflicting rules either. This is very helpful to a discussion we are presently having in our congregation. Peace! Mike

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