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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Do Jehovah's Witnesses consider it idolatry to raise or display a national flag?

A flag is an image made by Man; it is a representation of the State. Flags often contain representations of things in the heavens, such as stars, as well as things on earth. So to dedicated Christians, kneeling before or saluting a flag would be a violation of the Second Commandment and of the Christian command to “flee from idolatry.” (Ex. 20:4, 5; 1 Cor. 10:14)

What about merely holding it, either in a parade or in a classroom, so that others can salute? Well, rather than ‘fleeing from idolatry’, that action would place the person at the very center of the idolatrous ceremony.

Some may wonder whether the act of standing would make someone an idolater. This action does not make one an idolater because merely standing quietly out of respect while others salute shows that you are only a respectful observer; the act of idolatry would be the saluting, not the mere standing in a normal manner.

Recommended Related Article:

“You Must Not Bow Down to Them” (w02 9/15 pp. 21-25; Watchtower Online Library)

Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Not Use Images in Their Worship? (w09 2/1 pp. 30-31; Watchtower Online Library)