Summary: We are commanded the lift up the standard. What does that really mean? We can get help by comparing it with the rules and etiquette of our own national flag.
Displaying the Flag
flag = banner, standard, ensign, penant
Ps. 60:4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth.
--one purpose of the flag is to be displayed for truths' sake
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
--Christ is our banner and our duty is to lift Him up for the world to see
Jehovah-nisi: The Lord is my banner.
Song: Lift Up the Standard and Tell my People
Each of the 12 Tribes of Israel had a distinct flag and were given orders as to when and how to fly it.
Reuben--Face of a man
Isaiah and Jeremiah repeat the theme of "lift up the standard" and "set up a standard".
The banner was used for:
1. Designating (identifying) the realm of a certain people group.
Let us not be ashamed of who we are in Christ.
2. Leading the charge in battle. It was a point to rally behind.
Song of Solomon 6:4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
Unashamedly, we go on the offensive against the enemy of our soul.
3. A sign of victory and joy.
Ps. 20:5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions.
4. The giving of directions to well defended and fortified places of refuge.
Jer. 4:6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
5. To announce or notify.
Jer. 50:2a Declare ye among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not:
--in many mexican ranchos, the butcher hangs out a red flag when he has fresh cut meat to sell.
There are some flags you do not ever want to fly.
DO NOT SURRENDER. Never, never, never raise the white flag of surrender. To do so. would be to give up the flag of holiness. Though we may be few and scattered, we are not giving up. There is a promise to the remnant.
Jer. 15:11 The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.
NO HALF MAST FLAGS HERE
A flag flying at half mast is a sign of sorrow or great loss.
There will be days of distress, but we need to pass our day of mourning, and get up and go on.
How often we are so quick to lower our flag to half mast (usually looking for a pity party), but we need to lift it higher and press on.
Isa. 62:10 Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
THE FLAG IS NOT FOR DEFACING
Etiquette says that the flag should never touch the ground or be left out in the rain or dark.
Respect the banner of holiness, don't make light of it. It is not to be treaded upon.
To fly the flag upside down would be most disgraceful.
LET THE FLAG BE SEEN CONTINUALLY
Though a flag should not be flown in the dark, it is acceptable and favorable to fly it at night as long as a light is shining on it to give it ilumination.