Robbie is a chip off the old block. His daddy is a Red, White and True patriot. Bob makes sure our flag flies every day from spring until winter. Americana t-shirts are his favorite everyday garb and he even has a couple church shirts and ties that are emblazoned with the American flag and the Constitution. The political talking heads are on our television every night, and Bob loves to talk politics. To this day, although he knows his steps were ordered by the Lord in a different direction, he still talks about how he would have loved to have gone into the military.
Robbie wouldn’t know what the word patriotic means; he doesn’t understand what it means to be an American; he doesn’t have a clue that the country he lives in is called the United States of America. He wears his Americana t-shirts like Daddy, however, and he absolutely loves patriotic music. The Star Spangled Banner is his favorite and he gets excited when I sing it or play it on the harmonica for him. He also loves America the Beautiful, Yankee Doodle, My Country ‘Tis of Thee, and God Bless America. The last few weeks, though, a new song has taken center stage—You’re a Grand Old Flag.
I enjoy finding little gifts to bring home for Robbie when I go out. They’re usually just little $1 or $2 items. I put them in a gift bag with a piece or two of colored tissue paper and he thinks he has a real treasure as he enthusiastically pulls the tissue out and peers inside the bag to see what surprise Mommy has for him this time. A couple weeks ago I spotted some large American flags at the dollar store and I thought of Robbie. He loves to wave things in the air and I thought, Perfect!
The flag was too big to put in a gift bag so I hid it behind my back when I got home and said, “Robbie, Mommy has a surprise for you!” I pulled it out and his eyes just lit up! He stretched out his arms and leaned forward in his recliner, eager to get his hands on this wonderful new prize. He already had a tiny American flag that he loved to wave, but this one was bigger, better—awesome! He waved it wildly, listening to the loud flapping sound it made and watching the graceful ripples of its colors in the breeze he’d created.
Mommy began to sing You’re a Grand Old Flag and soon Daddy joined in the lively chorus. Robbie waved his flag passionately and we sang just as robustly and even louder over and over again! It was a rowdy time and so much fun! Since then Robbie picks up that flag several times a day and expects us to jump in with You’re a Grand Old Flag! Of course we are happy to oblige him. Yes, sir!
You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You’re the emblem of
The land I love.
The home of the free and the brave.
Ev’ry heart beats true
‘neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there’s never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.
As patriots, we love our country, our flag and our great American pioneer heritage. We believe we live in the greatest country in the world—or in the history of the world. Americans are the most generous people in the world and the most willing to defend and help those in need. We are thankful for all with which God has blessed us in this country—for our freedoms, and our opportunities, our prosperity and our beautiful land. We’re proud of our motto “In God We Trust;” proud whenever we sing The Star-Spangled Banner; proud to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
There is another flag to which we pledge allegiance, however, and that is the Christian flag. As the American flag symbolizes our nation with its stars and stripes and stands for freedom, there is no mistaking the symbolism of the Christian flag. The white field of this flag represents the purity of Jesus Christ and the peace we have with God when we trust in Him. The red cross in the upper left quarter (or canton) of the flag symbolizes the blood He shed on the cross and His love. The blue canton stands for faith and truth. And as the American flag stands for freedom, likewise the Christian flag represents freedom, as well—the freedom we have in Jesus Christ.
We are freed from the bondage of sin when we trust Jesus as our Savior. John 8:31-32, 36 says, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Galatians 5:1 goes on to say, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Freedom for our country was bought with the blood of men willing to fight and die for her. Freedom for all those who would accept the free gift of salvation from sin’s slavery was bought with Jesus’ shed blood on the cross. There is a pledge to this flag, as well:
I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag, and to the Saviour, for whose kingdom it stands. One Saviour, crucified, risen and coming again,with life and liberty for all who believe.
It is a grand old flag that we salute this Fourth of July. As Americans we are proud and happy to join in the celebration of our nation’s history and to be living in the land of the free and the home of the brave. As I think of the Christian flag, though, and all it symbolizes, it is not pride that moves me to tears, but gratitude to God for His love and sacrifice, and for the eternal citizenship I have through Him in the land of the truly free and the home of the saved.