We also display a Christian flag -- which is strategically placed on the platform, to the speaker's right. (This is the place of dominance. I learned that from Keith Drury.)
Actually, I took a few hits for placing the Christian flag in that spot.
"Anybody who knows anything knows that the the American flag is supposed to be on the speaker's right!" growled one veteran, "Just check the flag code!" (I did -- Par. 174:K -- and he's right, but the code's wrong, and I'm willing to risk the censure.)
One guy actually stopped coming to church because I disrespected the flag, by putting it in the wrong place. I feel bad about that now.
For a while, we quietly "put the flags away", stashing them in the back corner of the church library. Nobody seemed to notice. . . at least that's what I thought.
Then, in the emotional aftermath of September 11, the flags came back.
We held a prayer service. Just as the service was about to start, Eddie, a grizzled old Korean War Veteran, emerged with the American flag in his hand, almost spear-like. He marched, wild-eyed, and with set jaw, like a determined Marine going off to war, right up the middle aisle!
He sort of reminded me of Mel Gibson's Patriot.
Quickly he strode across the platform, and plopped it down, triumphantly, to the right of the pulpit.
What's a pastor to do? I didn't have the heart (nor the guts) to stop him. If I had tried, I think he would have speared me right on the spot!!
So, I quickly ran back to the library and grabbed the Christian flag, brought it up to the platform, and set it to the RIGHT of the American flag!
I don't think Eddie appreciated that too much, but at least he had his flag up front and we didn't have a war.
And now, over a decade later later, they still stand -- unhindered -- except that the American flag has been nudged over to the left side of the platform. I figure, as long as World War Two and Korean Veterans are a part of our congregation, it'll stay that way.
Some battles are worth fighting -- and some aren't.