“Red, White, and Blue: The Scars and Stripes Forever”
The word scars in the title of my article is not a typo, it was placed there intentionally. This month we celebrate the birthday of our nation on July 4. I would like to consider some thoughts about our Nation, its flag and some other symbols of our nation and its freedoms. I would also like to consider our Christian life as well and some of its symbols of freedom and their importance to us.
“The Stars and Stripes” is the nickname for our Nation’s flag. On June 14, 1777, Congress made the following resolution: “The flag of the United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a blue field . . .” Official announcement of the new flag was not made until September 3, 1777. When it was first flown has not been determined. [Funk & Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, p. 241.]
Notice the design of our current flag, its colors and their symbolism: 13 stripes (7 red and 6 white) one for each of the original 13 colonies that became the first states. 50 white stars on a field of blue, one star for each of the 50 states. In the language of the Continental Congress, which defined the symbolic meanings of the colors red, white, and blue, as used in the flag, stated the following: “White signifies Purity and Innocence; Red, Hardiness and Valor; and Blue, Vigilance, Perseverance, and Justice.” [ibid., p. 240.]
Yes, we as Americans have a flag, a banner that is hoisted high to remind us of the cost paid for our liberty. Every time we see the Stars and Stripes flying, we are reminded of the hardships those original colonists went through. The red in the flag also reminds us of the cost of freedom that was paid in blood that was shed by America’s valiant men and women, who through the years defended our land so well, paying the ultimate price to maintain our freedoms of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
We as Americans also have a symbol of our freedom: The Statue of Liberty with her torch raised high to those “tired, hungry, tempest-tossed masses of humanity” looking for freedom and a haven of rest.
As Christians, we also have a banner and a symbol of our spiritual freedom.
We have a banner, a banner that is high and lifted up. Exodus 17:15 makes reference to one of the names of God, Jehovah-nissi, which means, “the LORD is my Banner.” Upon the Lord our banner, the Lord Jesus Christ, are the Scars and Stripes. Red, White, and Blue are prominent colors on this Banner and give evidence of the costs He paid for our spiritual liberty. The RED represents the blood of Christ that was shed for the sins of the world. The WHITE represents His perfect sinless nature – the spotless Lamb of God who was the perfect sacrifice required to atone for man’s sins. The BLUE has a double meaning. (1) The blue represents Christ’s sufferings and the bruising of His flesh that would have resulted from His beating and scourging and crucifixion. Isa. 53:5 says, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities . . .”. (2) The blue also represents Christ’s fidelity. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.
The Scars and Stripes are forever: Christ’s body bears the scars put there by the nails that pierced His hands and feet and by the spear that pierced His side. Christ’s body bore the stripes that were put there by the Roman soldiers who scourged Him prior to His being taken to the cross. These marks will forever remain as a reminder of the pain that Christ endured for you and me.
Not only is our Banner high and lifted up, but we have a symbol that reminds us of the high cost of our freedom from sin. The Cross of Christ is our spiritual statue of liberty. It calls those who are searching for freedom from sin to come to this symbol of suffering and death and find forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
Yes, we should be proud to be an American and honor our flag, “The Stars and Stripes” and all it represents. But, let us never forget “the Scars and Stripes” our Lord Jesus bore so that we could truly be free! John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” Praise God for the freedom that is ours through Jesus Christ our Lord!!!
America is in dire need of revival and spiritual awakening. As I always do each month, I invite you to join me in praying for revival and spiritual awakening in our land. Take time to tell someone how they can truly be set free!
Working Together in His Service,
Roy Pr. 3:5-6