Theology

Should the two flags – American and Christian – be placed as a pair in the chancel of a church? Why or why not?

The United States congress has suggested that the national flag be positioned to the speaker’s right when the two flags are placed in the chancel and to the congregation’s right when placed in the nave.

However, there are several reasons for not pairing the two flags.

Having a national flag in the chancel of a church is not good Christian theology. The emphasis in worship is extolling the Gospel and administering the sacraments to God’s children. The furnishings in the chancel and their accouterments should complement this behavior and extend the message of God’s grace in the direction of the congregation. The national flag cannot suggest God’s gift of His Son to us. Anything placed in the chancel that does not relate to the sacraments and the Word adds visual confusion and blurs the message of God’s grace. When we worship, our hearts and minds should be on God’s kingdom. The national flag should be in the nave or fellowship hall.

The placement of a Christian flag against the chancel wall is redundant in view of what the chancel furnishings, accouterments, and art pieces already symbolize.

Finally, to pair the national flag and Christian flag implies a parallel that does not exit.