An Appeal to Heaven: Why we fly our flags

Submitted by Karen Thornton
An Appeal to Heaven flag.

Why fly a flag? In the beginning flags were used to rally troops, representation of groups dating as far back as 3000 B.C. Numbers 2; Moses instructed the Israelites to set up camp beneath their family banners. The banners were for organization of the camp. Sometimes the flag was known as a standard. Flags are used as representation of places and people. Today, every country in the world flies a flag of representation. The flag goes further to represent sports teams and families even have their own specially designed flags. A flag is designed under careful color consideration and meaning; red symbolizes valor and bravery, white, for purity & innocence and blue, justice, perseverance and vigilance. Every country flies their flag with pride, representing a respected history and a hopeful future. We pray our American Flag represents shared values of the United States and as a symbol of unity, just as Moses instructed the Israelites to set up camp beneath their family banners.

The flag has been flown in our darkest times and in our greatest victories. Over Fort McHenry when Francis Scott Key penned his poem that became our National Anthem; on San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt; in the streets of America during the Vietnam War; on the moon in 1969. It rose above the rubble of the World Trade Center after September 11, 2001. Americans do not have to have a reason to fly the red, white and blue. It is proudly displayed on our boats, our porches, our businesses, painted on our cars and printed on our clothing. Our children still stand and pledge allegiance to the flag, organizations start meetings with the pledge to the flag. The flag stands in churches and public buildings. It’s pretty hard to find a place in America where you can’t find a US flag.

Our first President, George Washington, called “Father of His Country” used a flag, the “Tree Flag” or the “Appeal to Heaven Flag”, which was used during the American Revolution. This flag was carried by Revolutionary War soldiers, sometimes it read “An Appeal to God”. The flag was inspired by John Locke, a 17th century philosopher. Quoting 2 Corinthians 8:21; “for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.” Washington flew “The Appeal” when all other alternatives of seeking justice had been exhausted, only an “appeal to heaven” remains. Colonists who saw it were reminded to be wholly reliant upon heaven and God who reigns supreme. Considering the warfare of our generation, it defies logic for a soldier to enter battle carrying a flag rather than a sword or a gun. When the man carrying the flag was wounded or killed, another man dropped his weapon to pick up the flag. The flag established identity not only of the soldiers, but those they fought to defend. Leaving their identity on the ground was never an option.

Flags are flown and emblems worn – The Appeal to Heaven flag is flown to show who a person is – a man or woman who does not look to men or government for approval, but lives by principles of their convictions and appeals to the Almighty for protection, provision and justice.

REF: Exodus 17:15: Psalm 20:5; Psalm 60:4; Song of Solomon 2:4 & 6:4; Isaiah 5:26

Karen Thornton is a resident of the Westside of the Lake of the Ozarks sharing the very words of God as relative to everyday life.  Karen is the owner of Karen’s Secretarial Service. Opinions expressed in her columns do not necessarily reflect those of the Lake  Leader. Contact Karen at