THE SALVATION ARMY FLAG, like all flags has significance. While it is true that the flag represents The Salvation Army, the symbolism is deeper than that and actually portrays that we are a mainstream Christian Church accepting the doctrine of the Trinity of God.

God the Father is represented by the blue border which symbolises the Holiness and Purity of God.

God the Son is represented by the red, symbolising the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

God the Holy Spirit is represented by the yellow star, symbolising the fire of the Holy Spirit.

The phrase "Blood and Fire" also represents the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (blood), and the infilling of the Holy Spirit (fire).


THE SALVATION ARMY SHIELD was first introduced in the 1900's. Its origin is thought to have been in Canada. While advertisements for shield brooches, badges and other items appeared in the War Cry as early as 1914, the earliest reference to the official use of the present shield appeared in the 1918 Fall edition of the Canadian War Cry.

The evolution of the shield took a giant step forward during World War I when British Salvationists serving at the front, behind the lines and in military camps, began using shields to identify their 'Naval and Military League' rest huts. Photos of the day show crude, hand-made shields of varying designs, most with dark handlettered wording on white backgrounds. However, one July, 1917, report from the front does refer to "a large shield on enamelled sheet iron with a blood red background".

Given that the shield had for years been subject to the vagaries of artists and signwriters who were entrusted with the task of reproducing the symbol on posters, canteen sign-boards, letterheads, advertising pamphlets, etc., Army leaders decided to standardize the design. At a conference held in New York, and attended by a Canadian Representative, the design, was accepted as "standard" for North America.

Subsequently, over time, the shield became associated with social services, the Red Shield appeal and Christmas assistance efforts.

The shield may also be seen to represent a protective shield borne by the Army on behalf of the disadvantaged of our society.


THE SALVATION ARMY CREST: Shortly after The Salvation Army's War Congress (1878) when the name changed from "The Christian Mission" to "The Salvation Army", Captain William H. Ebdon submitted the design for the crest that graphically illustrated the Army's fundamental doctrines.

Central in Captain Ebdon's design was the cross of Jesus Christ. An entwined letter "S" represented The Salvation Army and its commitment to the Gospel. Crossed swords evidenced the Movement's
determination to fight against sin and social injustice under the guidance of the truth of the Gospel repsresented by seven 'shots' in the surround. The surround itself, the Sun of Righteousness, representing the fire and light of the Holy Spirit.

Also in the surround, the words "Blood and Fire" made further direct reference to the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the refining fire of the Holy Spirit. Cradling the device was a ribbon bearing the words "The Salvation Army".

The only subsequent change made to Captain Ebdon's crest was the addition of a crown symbolizing
the eternal reward for faithful Christian soldiers.

The earliest recorded use of the crest appears on stationary by Bramwell Booth in 1878. 


Because Need Knows No Season, The Salvation Army provides assistance to those in need 365 days a year.

Founded by William Booth in 1865, The Salvation Army is an international organization that meets the physical and spiritual needs of people in 108 countries around the globe, and nearly 1,400 communities across America without discrimination.

The red shield dates from 1896 and serves as the trademark for the Army's social services.

Over 83% of your donation to The Salvation Army goes directly to program funding to help people who need it most.

Only 5% of the money you donate to the Salvation Army is used for fundraising efforts?

The Salvation Army assists more than 38 million individuals throughout the year in the United States - almost 6 million of those during the holiday season alone.

Salvation Army adult rehabilitation centers annually help more than 200,000 people from every walk of life fight substance abuse and return to their communities as participating, contributing members.

When you shop at Salvation Army family stores, you are helping individuals in our 160+ adult rehabilitation centers nationwide through work therapy.

The Salvation Army's Alegria program in Los Angeles provides transitional and permanent housing and specialized support services to homeless and low-income families affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Salvation Army has more than 3.3 million volunteers and provides assistance to those in need through more than 9,000 service units across the country.

The Salvation Army operates a Missing Persons Program, which provided service to more than 50,000 people annually.

The Salvation Army's League of Mercy visited over 4 million people with special needs in hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities last year.

The Salvation Army assists over 20 million people with social service casework projects each year.

The Salvation Army provided an opportunity to camp for more than 180,000 underprivileged children, seniors, and adults last year.

The Salvation Army provided more than 31,000 job referrals last year.

The Salvation Army was at the frontlines in World Wars I and II, offering comfort and pastoral guidance.

You can replicate the donuts distributed by The Salvation Army's WWII Donut Girls in your own home. (go to WWI Donut Recipe).

The Salvation Army flag is the only flag, other than the U.S. flag, to have flown on the moon.

The American flag which flew in front of the demolished World Trade Center was a gift from The Salvation Army.

The phrase "on the wagon" was coined by men and women receiving the services of The Salvation Army. Former National Commander Evangeline Booth - founder William Booth's daughter - drove a hay wagon through the streets of New York to encourage alcoholics on board for a ride back to The Salvation Army. Hence, alcoholics in recovery were said to be "on the wagon."

The Salvation Army led in the formation of the USO - United Services Organization. The USO operates service units, which serve members of the armed forces abroad.

The Salvation Army is one of the largest churches in the world and all uniformed Officers are ordained ministers.

The red Christmas kettle debuted in San Francisco in 1891 in the guise of a crab pot. A depression had thrown many out of work, including hundreds of seamen and longshoremen. The campaign proved so successful that by 1900 it was imitated nationwide.

Kenny Rogers and George Foreman were members of The Salvation Army Boys Club.

Movie actors Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Mae West, and Joan Crawford have all appeared in movies with Army characters.

Mohammad Ali participated in one of our first Silver Gloves Tournaments at the Aldine Westfield Boys & Girls Club.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has ranked The Salvation Army as the Number 1 charity in the United States for eight consecutive years.

Peter Drucker, writer, management consultant, and self-described "social ecologist, called The Salvation Army "by far the most effective organization in the U.S.," in Forbes magazine.

Known for their brass band music, The Salvation Army has approximately 2,500 brass bands worldwide.

The first Salvation Army band was formed in 1882 by accident. Charles Frye and his sons offered their services as bodyguards for Salvation Army street preachers. They began playing music on their brass instruments to give them something to do while they protected the officers, and soon after quit their family business to lead the Army's music department.

Since the 1920's, a Salvation Army brass band from Southern California has marched in the Rose Bowl Parade.


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