After news of his death left the nation stunned, Billy Graham’s body has been brought to the U.S. Capitol to lie in honor. However, a few keen eyes spotted something rather different on the man’s hearse — and it left viewers downright shocked.
Billy Graham was a great man who will likely be remembered for years to come. In the meantime, the nation is currently mourning his loss and everyone is still paying their respects to both his memory and his family. Most recently, officials have brought his body to Washington, D.C., where it will lie in honor.
Graham is only the fourth person to lie in honor in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. The other three people, who were also given the distinct honor, were Rosa Parks and two police officers, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson, who died in the line of duty in 1998. In short, it is a great honor not given to many people.
Several officials have come to personally pay their respects, including President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who remembered Graham during a private ceremony.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Graham inspired countless life-changing conversions with his humility and plainspoken preaching of essential truths.
McConnell said Graham “lifted up our nation,” but it wasn’t because he occupied the spotlight so masterfully. It was because Graham knew he didn’t belong in it. He described Graham as “just a happy instrument in the hands of his Creator.” [Source: WYFF4]
However, that’s not all everyone is talking about today. In fact, a few keen eyes were quick to spot something on Graham’s hearse as his body was arriving at its final resting place. As it turns out, Graham’s hearse decided to skip the usual American flags and instead decided to hang two Christian flags off the front of the vehicle instead.
“The Christian flag represents the power and tenets of Christendom,” The Daily Caller explains. “The red Latin cross symbolizes the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross. The blue represents baptismal waters and the rebirth of one’s soul. The white represents the purity of Jesus.”
The flag dates back to the 1800’s and is still around today, but that’s not the only thing that’s special about them. As the truth would have it, the not-so-coincidental red, white, and blue colors actually have their roots in American history as well.
The Christian flag dates back to an impromptu speech given by Charles C. Overton, a Sunday school superintendent in New York, on September 26, 1897. The guest speaker for the Sunday school kick-off didn’t show up, so Overton had to wing it. Spying an American flag near the podium, he started talking about flags and their symbolism. Along the way he proposed that Christians should have their own flag — an idea that stayed on his mind long after the speech. In 1907 Overton teamed up with Ralph Diffendorfer, secretary to the Methodist Young People’s Missionary Movement, to produce and promote the flag.
The colors on the flag, not surprisingly, match those on the American flag. White represents purity and peace, blue indicates fidelity, and red stands for Christ’s blood sacrifice. [Source: Christian Today]
Of course, the flags flying on Billy Graham’s hearse are extremely appropriate given what they represent, and now that we know the history behind them, it makes it even better.
With a limited amount of people having been given the honor of being put to rest and lying in honor in the US Capitol, only Billy Graham was there for religious reasons — making this even more special. There are few people who will be remembered throughout all of history, but it’s safe to assume that Billy Graham is one such person.