The Two Flags

The Two Flags

The worship service was over. The people quietly left the church. As they walked down the aisle they shook hands and wished one another health and happiness. Some lingered long, happy to see old friends. The janitor locked the doors. All was quiet now and a great hush fell upon the building. The sun came streaming through the stained windows, throwing many colors against the walls and the pews. It was a sacred place because people had been there to worship God.

A special feature of the service that morning was the dedication of two new flags—the flag of the United States and the Christian flag.

"Only we can know what a church is like when not even one person is present," said the cross on the Christian flag.

"It is very quiet here," replied the stars and stripes of the flag of the United States. "I should be very lonely here if you did not stand beside me."

"I, too, am glad to have your companionship," an­swered the cross. "I am the cross of Jesus, and every­one in this world should be lonely without Jesus."

"You are very old, aren't you?"

"Yes, it is many years since Jesus was crucified on me. I shall never forget it. How can anyone ever forget it? That is a long time ago. I am very old. I am older than any flag in the whole world. Among the flags of the many nations you are rather young. I remember so well when you first were made into the flag of the United States. The stars and stripes were so beautiful. At first there were only thirteen stars. And then as new states joined the Union, more stars were added, until now you have forty-eight."

"How long have you been in America?" asked the stars and stripes.

"I was here long before you were. I first came here with Christopher Columbus. I was with him in his ship. That was a long journey across the ocean in that old sailing vessel. It took us many months to get here. Sometimes Columbus thought he would never get here. When he was so discouraged he knelt down before me to pray. Then I gave him new courage. What a great day that was when we landed on these shores. Columbus was so happy that I helped him so much that he first called this country 'The Land of Our Savior.' Later I came back again with the Pilgrim fathers and mothers, and with many thousands of others who came from Europe to live here. And so I have come to stay here forever. I am in every country in the whole world."

"It was pretty hard going," answered the stars and stripes, "when there were only thirteen states in the Union and I had only thirteen stars. It took a long time before we were one big nation of forty-eight states."

"I know all about it," replied the cross sympathet­ically. "I saw the struggle of the thirteen colonies. I helped George Washington in the Revolutionary War. Whenever he saw me he thought of Christ. I was with Abraham Lincoln in those dark days of the Civil War. Yes, I have been with this nation from the beginning and I hope to be with it forever."

"You and I look very much alike," observed the stars and stripes. "I mean that our colors are the same—red, white and blue; the red of the rose, the white of the lily, and the blue of the sky."

"But those colors mean more than that," reminded the cross. "Red stands for sacrifice, even as Christ sacrificed and died on me. White stands for purity of heart which knows no hatred, sin or bitterness. And blue stands for our loyalty to Jesus and our country."

"I shall never be lonely in this church or anywhere else as long as you can be with me," replied the stars and stripes. "We belong together. As long as the people o the United States are loyal to you, the cross and to me, the stars and stripes, then our country will be safe."

And now evening had come. In the deep silence it seemed as if the angels sang, "The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him."

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