Flags take on many shapes and forms, some are huge and some are small, but ultimately the action of lifting a flag (or standard / banner) has meaning. Below we’ve shared just a few of the things communicated through this type of expressive worship.
- A sign of victory (Exodus 17:15)
- A method of communication (Psalm 74:4)
- Praise to God and affirmation of His goodness (Psalm 20:5)
- A sign of our fear of the Lord and His protection over us (Psalm 60:4)
- A point to draw the focus back to God (Isaiah 18:3)
- A declaration of love (Song of Solomon 2:4)
- A sign it’s time to take action (Isaiah 13:2)
- A unifying force (Isaiah 11:12)
- A beckoning into and welcoming of the presence of the Lord (Isaiah 62:10)
- A sign the enemy needs to flee (Isaiah 30:17)
- A rally point for the warriors for battle (Jeremiah 51:27)
- A symbol of might (Song of Solomon 6:4)
- To bring life (Numbers 21:8, Isaiah 11:10, John 10:10)
What Flagging Can Mean
One of the Hebrew names for God is YHVH Nissi, which means the Lord my Banner. This comes from Exodus 17:15 (AMP) “And Moses built an altar and named it The Lord Is My Banner.” This word “nissi” also means miracle. So God is our banner – our declaration of victory – our miracle, our breakthrough. This declaration of victory is one of the reasons the banner bearers lead the armies, they were declaring victory before the battle even began.
In the same way people might wave their hand to someone in greeting instead of saying “hello,” flags are a method of communication – both in the physical realm and the spiritual one – without saying a word. Psalm 74:4 (JUB) “Thine enemies have roared in the midst of thy assemblies; they set up their own banners for signs.”
You can also use flags as a method of praise – just rejoicing in the goodness of our God. Psalm 20:5 (NIV) “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.”
Flags can signify a fear of the Lord as well as our acknowledgement of His protection over us. Psalm 60:4 (AMP) “You have set up a banner for those who fear You [with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder—a banner to shield them from attack], A banner that may be displayed because of the truth. Selah”
Flags can be used as a focal point to rally around a common focus, as a reminder to focus on God. Isaiah 18:3 (NIV) “All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it.”
Flags can be a declaration of love for God and His love for us. Song of Solomon 2:4 (VOICE) “He placed me at his banquet table, for everyone to see that his banner over me declares his love.”
Flags can be used as a sign it is time to take action. In a battle, the banners were a method of communicating in this way. Isaiah 13:2 (AMPC) “Raise up a signal banner upon the high and bare mountain, summon them [the Medes and Persians] with loud voice and beckoning hand that they may enter the gates of the [Babylonian] nobles.”
Flags act as a unifying force. They symbolically gather His sheep – a symbol of unity (like a nation’s flag). Isaiah 11:12 (GW) “He will raise a banner for the nations to gather around. He will gather the outcasts of Israel and bring together the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
Flags beckon others into the presence of the Lord (and welcome His presence with you). Isaiah 62:10 (AMP) “Go through, go through the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up, build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a banner over the peoples.”
Flags are a sign the enemy needs to flee. Isaiah 30:17 (AMP) “A thousand of you will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left like a flag on the top of a mountain, And like a signal on a hill.”
Flags rally the warriors for battle. Jeremiah 51:27 (GW) “Raise your battle flag throughout the world. Blow the ram’s horn among the nations. Prepare nations to attack…”
Flags act as a symbol of might. We are strong because we are under the banner of our God and He is always victorious! Song of Solomon 6:4 (AMP) “You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, As lovely as Jerusalem, As majestic as an army with banners!”
In the same way Moses lifted the serpent as a banner to bring life (Numbers 21:8), so Christ was raised as a banner for us to have life and life more abundantly (John 10:10). Isaiah 11:10 (JUB) “And it shall be in that day that the Root of Jesse, who shall be lifted up as a banner, as an example to the Gentiles shall be sought by the Gentiles; and his Kingdom of peace shall be glorious.”
These are just a few of the reasons we use flags. When we take into account that in addition to the meanings our actions of using a flag have, the colors have meaning as well (as does the prophetic meanings behind each flag), there are layers upon layers of meaning in this type of expressive worship – and all of it is making declaration in the spiritual realm. This is an offering of praise before our King. It costs us something to give it – whether that is our pride (because it can be embarrassing or feel silly to do it) or simply our energy (because He is worth the effort) regardless of the cost, it is an offering lovingly poured out to the One who is worthy.
If you are flagging in a corporate environment, keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. It’s easy to be tempted to get caught up and close your eyes, but when there is the possibility of a person walking into your space, it is important to stay vigilant. Be intentional about using flags that are well-sized and crafted for your space. In the same way, if you are near people flagging, please be mindful of their space and give them room to move. Yes, they need to be mindful of their surroundings, but they can’t see everywhere at once so be thoughtful about not hovering too close or walking into the area they are moving in.
To Him be all the glory. Happy worshiping!
(And thank you to April whose post Why I Dance With Flags from years ago inspired this)
Note: If you want to quote this, we just ask that you credit it to Dyed4you Ministries. We do sell quick reference card with this information for your convenience (and this pairs nicely with our color meaning chart). And if you are a church or a ministry who would like to use this as a handout, we’ve made a PDF that can be printed out double-sided and used as a handout. Or if you prefer the abbreviated one-page version, we have that too!