God’s Word commands Christians to be good citizens of the country in which they live. He has set civil governments over all people. In Romans 13:1, the apostle Paul stated that every Christian should “be subject unto the higher powers.” However, we understand that our foremost allegiance is to God.
We pledge allegiance to our flag (or to the nation it represents) only to the extent that the civil government does not require us to disobey God’s laws, either deliberately or inadvertently (Acts 5:29).
A related question arises, concerning whether it is proper to salute the flag. Some consider this a form of idolatry. Saluting the flag is merely a way of showing respect, and is not of and by itself an act of worship. God commands us, in Romans 13:1-7, to show honor and respect where they are deserved.
We salute the flag not because it represents another god, but because it symbolizes the many blessings—freedom being just one—that the Eternal God has bestowed upon one’s nation.
It is not wrong for people to pledge allegiance to their nation, as that nation attempts to provide for the security and general welfare of its citizens (however imperfectly), and strives to foster international peace. Again, Christians are to be subject to the laws of the higher powers (Rom. 13:1), as long as such laws are not in conflict with God’s laws. Just as we pay taxes and comply with the laws of the land, we should also render honor and respect where it is due.
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