"Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle . . . shall they pitch" (Numbers 2:2).
Of all the days for flying our flag, and pitching our "standard" on which is displayed the "ensign" of our forefathers, Flag Day is perhaps the most appropriate since this day was so designated for that very purpose. This particular date was originally selected because it was on June 14, 1775, that our U.S. Army was first organized, a year before our Declaration of Independence was adopted.
But the use of flags, or standards, or ensigns, to represent nations or other groups goes back at least to the ancient Egyptians and Assyrians. The first reference to them in the Bible is in connection with the standards that were pitched by the camp of each of the twelve tribes during their time of marching through the wilderness (Numbers 1:52-2:34).
Christians also have a standard--not the so-called "Christian flag" which is occasionally displayed in gatherings of believers as they sing "Onward Christian Soldiers," but the very character of the One who is "the captain of their salvation" (Hebrews 2:10). His "manual of arms," the written Word of God, has enjoined us to "endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier" (II Timothy 2:3-4).
As followers of our great standard bearer, we must continually seek to "have the mind of Christ" (I Corinthians 2:16), to keep ourselves pure, "even as He is pure" (I John 3:3), and in all things remember that He "suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps" (I Peter 2:21). Our goal is to be able to say some day, as Paul could say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (II Timothy 4:7). HMM