Flag Day is one of those holidays that most of us probably know little about. It is not a day that people get off work, watch a parade, shoot fireworks, or have a cookout as with other patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, or Labor Day. It is actually not even an official federal holiday, but Americans are encouraged to fly U.S. flags each year during the week of June 14 to honor our flag and consider all that it represents.
During the American Revolution, each unit that was fighting had their own flag. In June of 1775, the Second Continental Congress felt that one flag for everyone would create a more unified force which led to the creation of the first American flag. They soon realized, however, that it was too similar to the British flag. Finally, on June 14, 1777, they adopted a new flag with 13 red and white alternating stripes and a blue field holding 13 stars to represent the original 13 colonies. Since our nation’s independence on July 4, 1776, our flag has changed 27 times with a new star being added each time a state was added to the union.
As was intended, the American flag has been a symbol of unity for our country. An emblem that binds the people of the United States of America together in times of conflict such as war, times of tragedy such as 9/11, and even times of celebration such as the moon landing of 1969.
Just as it is important for our country to be united, it is necessary for God’s people to be united. When there is division whether as a country or as the body of Christ, we will not be effective. The Bible provides specific directions for how to live in unity as God’s people. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive. Above all, put on love – the perfect bond of unity” (HCSB). Imagine the bond of unity in our personal life, our nation, and even our world if we all practiced these God given instructions! “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” (Psalms 133:1 NIV)
When you see our nation’s flag flying proudly in the breeze, think of the bond of unity. The unity of our nation as well as the unity of God’s people. Are you doing your part to promote unity rather than division in all areas of your life?
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