Shop for authentic Episcopal Flags. We offer indoor and outdoor Episcopal flags in nylon and polyester. Our outdoor flags are finished with a canvas heading, while indoor flags are finished with a lined pole hem and your choice of with or without fringe. We also offer indoor and outdoor Episcopal flag sets.
History of the Episcopal Flag
The Episcopal Flag is a striking emblem of the Episcopal Church. This Christian denomination is a part of the Anglican Communion, founded in the United States of America. The flag is based on a white ground with a red St. George's Cross, as per the English Flag. Saint George is the Patron Saint of England, and this emblem refers to The Episcopal Church's Anglican, or Church of England, heritage.
As well as the St. George's Cross, the Episcopal Flag also has a canton in the top left, or hoist side. This is a version of the St. Andrew's Cross, the emblem of Scotland. This cross is a Saltire, or diagonal cross. St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. He was crucified on an X shaped cross by the Roman Empire in the 1st Century.
The canton on the Episcopal Flag shows a St. Andrew's Cross made up of 9 smaller crosses, or cross-crosslets. These represent the number of dioceses which came together to form the first Episcopalian convention. This was in Philadelphia in 1789.
The design of the Episcopal Flag is very distinctive and refers to the early years of the American Republic. The Episcopal Church itself was formed by Anglican ministers who refused to accept the authority of the British Empire. The Episcopal Constitution allowed them to practice as ministers, literally, under their own flag.
The Episcopal Church is strongly based on Anglican traditions. This separates it from other Christian denominations such as the Presbyterian or Lutheran. The Church of England was established during the reign of Henry VIII of England in 1534. By this time, British and other colonists were establishing themselves in the Americas.
The first Anglican parish was founded in 1607 in Jamestown, Virginia. By the time of the American Revolution, there were about 400 Anglican parishes. The Church of England was the established church of Georgia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia.
While the Episcopal ministers did not have to submit to the authority of the British crown, they were still members of the Church of England. This separation of religious and state power is a distinctive feature of the Episcopal Church.
The Anglican Book of Common Prayer, a cornerstone of the denomination, was re written for the Episcopal Church in 1789. The Church was declared the first overseas Province of the Church of England. James Madison, the 4th Episcopal Bishop, was consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury himself in 1790. This act was both an acknowledgment of the American Republic and an affirmation that the Church of England could spread its message in the wider world.
Today, the Episcopal Flag is flown in 9 provinces across the world. Apart from the USA, there are Episcopal churches in the Caribbean, Europe, Central and South America, Micronesia, Navajoland, and Taiwan.
As an independent branch of the Church of England, the Episcopal Church has taken a liberal stance on many issues. Its flag is a reminder of the Church's roots, and also its originality.