Flags & Why We Do Them

Here at The Crossing, we have a flag team that performs during worship, and there's a reason why we do so.

The biggest thing for us is, helping give understanding because people may have seen this ministry done in church or at events, but did not understand the why and how it is used for ministry.

Interested in joining the team? Join the group.

Flags, Banners, Ensigns and Standards

According to the dictionary, the word “flag” is a piece of cloth, usually rectangular, of distinctive color and design, used as a symbol, standard, signal, or emblem. This word is not used in the Bible in the same context, but for the purpose of this article, it will be used interchangeably with the words “banner” and “ensign”. In Strong’s Concordance the definition of what we commonly refer to as a “flag” is called a “banner” or “ensign” in the Bible” Below are biblical definitions of these words with supporting scriptures.

Standard (5127) – To flee, to escape, to put to flight, to depart, to cause to disappear, to hide.So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19

Standard (5251) – A banner, such as was set up on high mountains, especially in the case of invasion, when it showed the people where to assemble. (ensign, pole, banner, sail, sign.) Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon. Jeremiah 51:12

Standard (1714) – Banner. And the children of Israel shall pitch their tents, every man by his own camp, and every man by his own standard, throughout their hosts. Numbers 1:52

Ensign (226) – 1) sign, signal: A distinguishing mark, banner, remembrance, miraculous sign, omen, warning 2) token, Ensign, standard, miracle, proof. And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not. Numbers 17:10

Ensign (5264) – To be lifted up or displayed. To exalt. And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones 


Jehovah Nissi – The Lord Our Banner

There is only one place in the Bible that God is referred to as Jehovah Nissi. It is in the book of Exodus, Chapter 17. Moses identified the Lord as the banner under which Israel defeated the Amalekites. To seal this declaration, he built an altar and called it Jehovah-Nissi (the Lord our Banner). In battle, opposing nations flew their flag on a pole of the front line. This gave the soldiers a focal point and hope. The story begins in verse 8 and continues through verse 16. However, as you read, the revelation of Jehovah Nissi is clearly revealed through the events that occur in verses 11-16.

Symbolically, Moses with his raised arms, served as a banner for Israel. They were encouraged and victorious whenever they saw his arms raised. But Moses, being the humble and submitted servant that he was, recognized that it was not by his might, but by the power of the Almighty God whose banner he was under that was the true source of their victory. He also leaned on the physical support of Aaron and Ur who held his arms up when he grew tired and weak. And so, it was written as a memorial in a book, and we have read and understood. Therefore, as you minister to the body of Christ with banners and flags, you are declaring that we are strengthened, encouraged, and victorious in Jehovah Nissi – The Lord our Banner. 

Why Flags

There are many ways that God can use your gifts and talents to convey messages to his people. As you minister with flags, you are declaring to the body of Christ that the Lord Is Our Banner. Our flags identify us as His children, His messengers, His servants, His Salt, His Light and His beacons on earth. As such, we lead, guide and point to our Father in heaven and His son by expressing His word, rejoicing at God’s promises, reminding the body of Christ of the imminent return of Christ, calling sinners to repentance and exalting God for being who He is – the magnanimous creator that is worthy of all honor, glory and praise. Flag and banner worship arts ministers are called to; lift up a standard against our enemies to put them to flight;identify ourselves as children of the Most High God; be a testimony of Christ; and exalt our Lord. 

Specific ways that flags and banners may be used symbolically include

1. Intercessors may receive revelation from God about what is going on spiritually in the atmosphere that leads them to pray or engage in spiritual warfare using this symbolic tool to express what is going on in the spiritual realm. Remember, one of the definitions of “standard” is “to put to flight.” A waving flag along with prayer can demonstrate this. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19

2. A banner can be lifted as a declaration of God’s faithfulness as we witness his words come to pass. Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes: for the LORD hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.Jeremiah 51:12

3. People with the gift of dance may incorporate flags, streamers or timbrels in their praise and worship. And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. Exodus 15:20

4. Flags can be used as a demonstrative tool in spiritual warfare (battle). Set up a banner in the land, Blow the trumpet among the nations! Prepare the nations against her, Call the kingdoms together against her: Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz. Appoint a general against her; Cause the horses to come up like the bristling locusts. Jeremiah 51:27 

5. Flags can be used to exalt the Lord or celebrate revival. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive [as] the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof [shall be] as the wine of Lebanon. Hosea 14:7

6. An “ensign” can demonstrate the presence of God and his availability and desire to perform miracles. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, 

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.” 

What Flagging Can Signify

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 

Declarations, Action, and Unification

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.” 

Presence, Battle, Might, and Life

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.