The Conquest Flag of the World's Sunday School Association
In July 1901 in Chicago a flag was designed by the Reverend SM Johnson: "Its colors were red, white and blue. On the smaller field of white was placed a blood red cross to stand for the central fact, doctrine and power of our religion, the center and rallying point of all Christians. On the larger field of blue were the words "BY THIS SIGN CONQUER". ą The use of this flag as a Christian symbol was promoted by the World Sunday School Association.
The World Sunday School Association held its first convention in London in 1889. Renamed the World's Sunday School Association in 1907, it became the World Council of Christian Education in 1947. The association was merged into the World Council of Churches in 1971. The mission of the association was to promote Christian education amongst youth around the world.
A flag of this design was reported flown aboard the Grosser Kurfürst when it sailed from New York to Jerusalem carrying delegates to the fourth World Sunday School Convention. It was also featured on Rally Day postcards and buttons at least as early as 1909 and at least as late as 1916. It is not known when the flag fell into disuse.
It should be noted that this flag has been misidentified as a Ku Klux Klan symbol. The body of evidence clearly disproves this assertion: the Conquest Flag was designed for use by Christian churches everywhere. This picture of lapel pins shows the Conquest flag crossed with the Canadian flag, while the other has the USA.
ą Rev. F.N. Peloubet, D.D. and Prof. Amos R. Wells, A.M., Peloubet's Select Notes on the International Lessons for 1911. (W.A. Wilde Company, New York,
N.Y. The Baker & Taylor Co., 33-37 East Seventeenth St.), p. 52-3
Dave Pawson, 22 November 2007
Below is a selection of buttons and postcards that I possess. Click on images for larger versions.
Dave Pawson, 17 December 2010