RON McCLUNG

A few days ago, Queen Elizabeth II met President Donald Trump at Buckingham Palace as he began his state visit to the United Kingdom. When I viewed their meeting on television, a commentator pointed out the flag atop the palace. Tradition says the flag flies over the palace when the queen is in residence.

Flags have always been important in history. Each nation takes pride in its flag. Its colors and other insignia usually symbolize patriotism and other positive virtues.

According to American legend, in June 1776, George Washington commissioned Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, to create a new flag to commemorate the anticipated declaration of the new nation’s independence.

A year later, on June 14, 1777, John Adams spoke in Continental Congress regarding the new flag. He said, “Resolved, that the flag of the 13 United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation establishing June 14 as a national Flag Day.

Years ago, a children’s chorus surfaced, with the words: “Love is a flag flying high from the castle of my heart, that the King is in residence there.” Obviously, it’s a take-off from the British custom of flying the flag over Buckingham Palace when the queen is in residence. And it’s also a testimony to our belief that the Spirit of Christ comes to dwell in our hearts when we are open to him.

Paul wrote, “I pray that … Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17 NIV). He really does want to occupy the power center of our lives.

When we celebrate Flag Day this coming week, let your patriotism shine. If you have a flag, fly it proudly. And let it also remind you to fly a symbolic flag over your heart to indicate the King of kings is in residence.

— The Rev. Ron McClung, a former pastor of Owosso Wesleyan Church, now living in Indianapolis, Indiana, currently serves as the assistant general secretary for the denomination.

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