Beloved evangelical leader Billy Graham was an extraordinarily influential and a well-loved evangelist pastor from North Carolina who passed away last week at the age of 99. Not only was he well liked by the ordinary person, his influence was so far-reaching and respected that he was considered as the counselor or minister to numerous United States Presidents.
Today, he was taken to the U.S. Capitol where he will lie as the only religious leader in our nation’s history to be given the honor, as well as being only the fourth citizen to do so as well. As the black hearse carrying his body approached, people immediately noticed it wasn’t an American flag his final ride was flying.
Graham worked as a modern day Peter from Biblical times, bringing love, hope, and God’s wisdom to the world. His void in this world will be felt for years to come, as his message he spent his life spreading is needed now more than ever. As his body passed through Washington, D.C. today, he spread a message in his passing with what was picked to fly from the hood of his hearse.
The Daily Caller reports:
The hearse carrying Billy Graham to the U.S. Capitol did not fly an American flag, it flew a flag far more appropriate for the honor of its journey.
As the black hearse rolled to the front of the U.S. Capitol for Graham to lie in honor, two early 20th-century Christian flags could be seen flying from its hood. The Christian flag represents the power and tenets of Christendom. The red Latin cross symbolizes the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross. The blue represents baptismal waters and the rebirth of one’s soul. The white represents the purity of Jesus.
Like the American flag, this Christian flag, dating back to the 1800s, also bears the same color scheme of red, white, and blue, which is not coincidental.
According to Christian Today, this special flag is rooted in American history. Some may not appreciate that fact, especially those who consistently disregard that the United States was and still is a Christian nation.
“The Christian flag dates back to an impromptu speech given by Charles C. Overton, a Sunday school superintendent in New York, on September 26, 1897. The guest speaker for the Sunday school kick-off didn’t show up, so Overton had to wing it. Spying an American flag near the podium, he started talking about flags and their symbolism. Along the way he proposed that Christians should have their own flag—an idea that stayed on his mind long after the speech. In 1907 Overton teamed up with Ralph Diffendorfer, secretary to the Methodist Young People’s Missionary Movement, to produce and promote the flag,” Christian Today explained.
“The colors on the flag, not surprisingly, match those on the American flag. White represents purity and peace, blue indicates fidelity, and red stands for Christ’s blood sacrifice.”
Flying this flag during one of his final rides before his burial is exceptionally fitting after the work he did here on earth. It’s also a reminder of his message, the legacy he leaves behind, and that America is a Christian nation in need of love, forgiveness, and hope.