Illustration of an American flag and a blue flag with a red cross and white text over dark blue text on a white background
American Baptist Publication Society, Philadelphia Boston, Chicago. St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta
Some liturgical protestant churches choose to celebrate Rally Day to mark the beginning of the church calendar year, which usually comes at the end of September or the beginning of October. Churches celebrate Rally Day in various ways, but standard events and customs include handing bibles out to children, celebrating the graduation of Sunday school students from one grade to the next, welcoming new members into the church, and formally presenting church goals for the coming year. The word “rally” signifies that this day marks a time when all church members can come together and celebrate their shared beliefs, values and purpose.
The Christian flag, pictured here with the American flag, was created in the early 20th century and it is used all over the world by many different Christian groups. The colors of the flag are symbolic - the red cross represents the blood of Jesus, the color blue is for the waters of baptism and the faithfulness of Jesus, and the white of the flag stands for the purity of Jesus Christ. The phrase “By this sign conquer” is believed to have originated with the Roman Emperor Constantine, known as the first Christian Roman Emperor. It is said that during a military campaign, Emperor Constantine looked up at sun and saw an apparition of a cross of light behind the Greek words ἐν τούτῳ νίκα ("In this, conquer"). The apparition was later explained to Constantine in a dream where Christ came to the Roman Emperor and told Constantine to use the cross against his enemies. Many schools, sports teams, organizations, and military groups have adopted this phrase as a motto over the years.