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Salvation Army

Last modified: 2006-03-11 by martin karner
Keywords: christian | salvation army | army | army flag | blood and fire | star: 8 points | protestant |
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[Salvation Army] by James Dignan, 20 October 1997

I think that the flag is the same worldwide. I'm not sure about the exact dimensions, but I have made a gif which is as close to correct as I can get it from simply seeing the flag flying.
James Dignan, 20 October 1997

[Salvation Army] by Nelson L. Román, 1 November 2003

I saw, in Puerto Rico, this flag which is of the Salvation Army. I drew it as I saw on TV and as I found it in this site. The site explains the meaning of the flag, shield and crest.
Nelson L. Román, 1 November 2003

I have to say that I think Nelson's colours are better than James's, though I think that Nelson's star is too 'pointy'. Having said that, a quick Google search gave, where the star also looks rather pointy. James says "I think that the flag is the same worldwide." I would have gone along with that, but I have found a page at - the Canada (and Bermuda) site of the S.A. - where "the colours" are defined as "The Salvation Army flag, a tricolour of yellow, red and blue." Can our Canadian (or Bermudan) members comment? Or are they (mis)using 'tricolour' to mean 'a flag which contains three colours' without the normal implication of three equal stripes? Then again, a page at shows a flag which is recognisably the same style but not the same detailed design. So I wonder whether the flag really is standardised world-wide. Googling on "Salvation Army" AND flag OR colours gives more hits than I have had time to follow up, but they include the S.A.'s Australian site which shows a flag much as I am used to seeing it in the U.K.
André Coutanche, 3 November 2003

I drive by the US headquarters of the Salvation Army in Alexandria on my way to work every day and the flag there has (apparently) the same red as in the stripes on the US flag. The blue, however, is a shade lighter than on the S&S, which flies alongside (US flag to its own right, before someone asks).
Joe McMillan, 4 November 2003

The Flag of The Salvation Army flies in over 100 countries. The colours are extremely symbolic:
Red for the blood of Christ
Yellow for the fire of the Holy Spirit
Blue for the purity of God the Father
Thus the flag is symbolic of the tri-une God
Anthony Cotterill, 27 June 2000

I write as an officer of The Salvation Army. The flag of the Salvation Army is basically the same throughout the world, except that:

  1. The shades of the colors are not defined, and there are wide variations from country to country. The fabric also has something to do with this. The old British flags were wool, and the dyes produced deep, dark colors. The modern flags are brighter, with lighter colors.
  2. The Star almost always is eight-pointed. In former times it was actually a sun, but was changed in order not to offend Parsees in India, who worshipped the sun. (There is a strong Salvation Army presence in India to this day.) The star in European countries tends to be blunter than the one produced in the USA, and in Europe it usually has a red inside border along the edge of the star.
  3. The motto, "Blood and Fire" (atoning Blood of Christ, empowering Fire of the Holy Spirit) is written in the language of the country in which it is used. In one location in Switzerland, where there are four national languages, the motto was omitted altogether.
  4. The length/width ratio is not firmly established, nor is the width of the blue border, and this leads to many visual variants.

In spite of this, the Salvationists throughout the world recognize the emblem instantly, and it is a source of encouragement for our faith and a reminder of our international brotherhood. An interesting aside: The first Salvation Army flag taken to the USA from London had a small USA flag on the canton. SA flags used in the Western USA once had a 5-pointed star, as a US Marshall's badge.
C. Patrick Granat, Major, 20 May 2004

The earlier version showing a sun can be seen on this site. This shows the first version (with sun) from September 1878, the star having been adopted in June 1882.
Jan Mertens, 22 May 2004

[Russian Salvation Army] located by Mikhail Revnivtsev

On (in Russian) is a flag of the Salvation Army in Russia. The inscription in Russian "KROV` I OGON`" translates into the English language as " BLOOD AND FIRE ".
Mikhail Revnivtsev, 4 April 2005

At the website of the SA International Heritage Centre there is a photo of the flag of the SA headquarters in London. The design is the usual one for SA flags plus the writing "The Salvation Army [above the star] International Headquarters [below]" in white on the crimson field.
Martin Karner, 29 December 2005

Here is another photograph of the flag, with tassels, depicting an indoor usage, where the Princess Royal is speaking in front of it at the opening of the International Headquarters in Queen Victoria Street, London EC4P in November 2004:
Colin Dobson, 1 January 2006

Several years ago I commented that the Salvation Army flag was purple, rather than deep red. This was greeted with some skepticism, as can be seen on this page. I figured that, for reasons best known to themselves, New Zealand's Salvation Army must use a different colour flag to other units worldwide. Finally, my driving past the local fortress coincided with a rare day on which they had their flag up, so I am finally able to present a photo of the flag as flown locally, to show that the colour is indeed purple, not red. This is not an artefact of it being a faded flag - all the Salvation Army flags I have ever seen here have been this colour.
James Dignan, 9 December 2005

During the ecumenic church convention (Ökumenischer Kirchentag) in Berlin 2003, I saw a Salvation Army flag, German version. It had a normal red (neither particularly dark nor purple), the inscription was "BLUT & FEUER" (blood & fire).
Marcus Schmöger, 8 January 2006

See also: