Last modified: 2002-10-05 by jarig bakker
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Religious(?) flag spotted throughout the country of horizontal white/blue--
often next to a Vatican flag stripped of its coat of arms.
Luc Baronian, 18 May 1999
The Vatican striped flag is the flag of the Catholic church. Concerning
this white and blue flag, would it have been in France, I would have immediately
said that it was a horizontal version of the flag of Jeanne d'Arc, but
I think this is a flag related here to the Virgin Mary. See for instance
the origin of the blue colour in the former French king's coat of arms.
Pascal Vagnat, 19 May 1999
If by w/b you mean white/blue (not black), then the flag is the Marian
flag - it is a bicolour of the colours associated with Mary in the Polish
usage. I remember when I was in Poland as a child in 1974, I acquired a
Polish flag, a yellow/white flag and a white/blue flag.
Robert M J Czernkowski, 21 May 1999
I see the marianist flag and is white over light blue (celeste) better
that dark blue. In my city (and I believe in other cities too) is used
with the local virgin in center.
Jaume Ollé, 1 Feb 2001
I used the blue color of the Arms of Pope John-Paul II on the Vatican
page for this image.
Jarig Bakker, 1 Feb 2001
Churches in Warsaw - Two flag were spotted
1) white over blue.
2) yellow over white (at same ratio as Polish flag 5:8)
Dov Gutterman, 22 Mar 2002
Here is a flag of the Polish National Catholic Church. Broke away from
the RC in 1897 (Pennsylvania). Most of the adherents are in the US and
Canada, few in Poland and elsewhere.Member of the National Council of Churches
(US) and the World Council of Churches.
The motto says: "Through Truth, Struggle and Work - -We Will Overcome"
Chrystian Kretowicz, 25 Jan 2002
The Old Catholics started in 1870 as a group opposed to the "then newly
proclaimed" doctrine of Papal Infallibility. That doctrine itself being
a response to the final unification of Italy, and the loss of the bulk
of the papal lands, except for the Vatican City itself and a few minor
The PNCC lists 1897 as its start date, when the people who formed the PNCC had to choose between becoming the Polish branch of the Episcopal church or going for full independence as a separate church. Since they feared loosing their "Polishness" they opted for full independence. The 1st Bishop in the PNCC (Hodur) was consecrated by the Dutch Old Catholic Church, and once that happened he could ordain priests and set up a separate church. In addition to Buffalo, another major center of the PNCC was in the Scranton, Pennsylvania area, where the church still has its headquarters today. After the PNCC was founded here in the US, it spread up to Canada, and back to Poland - in 2 attempts there, pre-WWII and post-WWII.
As a sidenote, around 1965 the Lithuanian National Catholic Church became a part of the PNCC. So today within the PNCC you have some parishes that are Lithuanian.
In the PNCC the local parishes "own" and run the local churches - much like the Congregational Churches here in NH - and not like the Roman Catholic Church or some Protestant churches, where the church hierarchy "owns" the local churches and can close them at will. The PNCC clergy can be married - the bishop in Manchester when I was growing up was both a father and a grandfather.
While use of Polish in the mass was a major reason for the split with the Roman Catholic Church, its use has declined over the years. (The next generations don't see much need to learn a "foreign" language of little use in the US.) When I was growing up we had to attend Saturday Polish language classes to prepare for our First Holy Communion, and later for our Confirmation.
In 1970, the next bishop to serve in Manchester refused to do an English ceremony for my older sister's wedding - so she got married at her fiance's Congregational Church. But at my father's funeral in 1977, the same bishop conducted the ceremony at the cemetery in English.
After WWII there was a pact between the PNCC and the Episcopalians where you could attend services at either one. The PNCC dropped the pact in 1992(?) when the Episcopalians started ordaining women as priests. This same opposition has placed the PNCC at odds with the rest of the Utrecht group of Old Catholic churches as they start to ordain women.
I'm not certain about the grey border on the flag - I seem to remember
the flag in Manchester being white with a yellow fringe on it. But it could
be as the name implies, that the grey border is used by the branch back
Also, I remember this flag as being a vertical one, used mainly in ceremonial processions around the church. Otherwise it was displayed on one side of the altar near the bishop's chair, while the US and Polish flags were displayed on the other side of the altar.
Michael Roth, 27 Jan 2002
Here is the flag of the Polish National Catholic Church as used in Poland
(it is basically American-Canadian church) and logos of other Old-Catholic
churches united in the Union of Utrecht.
The motto says: "Truth, Struggle and Work"
Chrystian Kretowicz, 3 Mar 2002
This is the flag of the Evangelical-Augsburg (Lutheran) Church in Poland
or Kosciol Ewangelicko-Augsburski (Luteranski) w Polsce
Chrystian Kretowicz, 28 Jan 2002
This is the flag of the Union of Buddhists Karma Kagyu or Zwiazek
Buddyjski Karma Kagyu. My brother belongs to this one, and fights for
Tibetans' freedom too.
Chrystian Kretowicz, 28 Jan 2002
It looks like a tropical hurricane to me, specifically Southern Hemisphere
due to the clockwise direction of the arms.
Blas Delgado Ortiz, 29 Jan 2002