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  Deutsch   Heilsarmee Museum Basel, Schweiz  
  English   Salvation Army Museum Basel, Switzerland  
  The Flag  
 
"There is only one Flag for me..."

This is what the slum captain sings in the musical "The Blood of the Lamb". But how has the Salvation Army flag, with its colours and inscription, actually evolved?
By the year 1874 General Booth and his son Bramwell were already having discussions about the design of a flag. The first annual report, published in 1867, showed the headquarters building with a flag flying from the roof; this flag had the wording "East London Christian Mission"

 
Postcard in the museum with Salvation Army flag and cross 
Postcard No. 2 of the "Flag Series"
The first Salvation Army flag is presented
In September 1878 Captain C. Reynolds, on behalf of Coventry Corps, received from Catherine Booth-Mumford the first Salvation Army flag. The wife of the Founder explained at numerous opportunities: The red represents the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, through which we are saved. The blue is the colour of purity and the yellow star at the same time represents the light and fire of the Holy Spirit. The motto "Blood and Fire" is the Blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) and the Fire of the Holy Ghost. "This flag", she added to the explanation " is an emblem of victory."
 
Captain C. Reynolds with the Salvation Army flag

Kapt. C. Reynolds (1878)
  The Sun symbol is replaced by a Star symbol
The modification of the flag to its current form with a star in the centre took place in the year 1882. It is probable that Frederick Booth Tucker drew attention to the fact that the sun was a symbol of importance for other religious communities such as the Parsees. But this is nowhere recorded. In June 1882, General Booth, during the laying of the corner stone for a new meeting hall of the Penzance Corps, handed over a new flag, and explained that the star in the centre was a symbol of the holy spirit. Nowadays the star usually has eight beams. This is something which has varied over the years, but no special significance was put on the number of these beams.

How should the flag be used?
As an indication that the love of God is always victorious, the flag of the Salvation Army is never flown at half-mast. It should be well visible in the meeting hall and should be taken to open-air meetings. The flag is also used at the dedication of children, enrolment of junior and senior soldiers, weddings and at the funerals of Salvationists.

The Salvation Army flag - an emblem of faith
Through the explanation of the colours and the writing, the flag of the Salvation Army becomes actually a symbol of the faith of each Salvationist. The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (red), which cleanses and delivers from our guilt and the Spirit of God (yellow) who leads and guides, and finally the blue border as symbol of purity. Salvation and sanctification are expressed through the words "Blood and Fire".
             
             
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