No matter where you go most Reformed Presbyterian Churches will have a blue banner with the words, “For Christ’s Crown and Covenant.” You will find it either on the wall in the church building, on their website, in the bulletin, or even on a business card. So what is this banner of the covenant all about?
Well, on special occasions in both Old and New Testaments, believers vowed together that they would obey the Lord. At the time of the Reformation, believers in Scotland adopted this practice for mutual protection and for the advancement of Biblical Christianity. On at least three occasions – 1581, 1638, and 1643 – the entire nation covenanted in this way.
These covenants embraced the whole sphere of Christian faith and experience, emphasizing such great themes as repentance, grace, and obedience. They also maintained that the King (or the State) cannot govern the Church, and that the state itself must recognize the supreme Kingship of Christ. The Reformed believers, known as Covenanters (from their support of the covenants), insisted on “the crown rights of King Jesus” which brought them into con?ict with those who supported the “divine rights of kings.”
The Blue Banner bearing the motto “For Christ’s Crown and Covenant” originated as a battle flag for these Covenanters as they fought to defend the honour of Christ and their lives against intense persecution. It first appeared in 1639 with the Covenanter Army in Scotland under General Alexander Leslie, First Earl of Leaven. During the period of most intense persecution (1660-1668) some 18,000 men, women, and children died in battle, were executed, killed without process of law, or exiled, for their faithfulness to “Christ’s Crown and Covenant.”
Since the end of “the killing time,” the Blue Banner has continued to serve as a Covenanter symbol. The Reformed Presbyterian Church is the continuation of the Covenanter church in Scotland and treasures the testimony and heritage which God has given to it.
The banner itself has no theological significance, but serves as a reminder of our commitment to the great truths of the Word of God and to “the crown rights of King Jesus.”