Presentation on theme: "Fight for the flag. Once upon a time there was a Salvation Army flag. The flag was torn at the edges and its faded colours were marked with filth. Its."— Presentation transcript:
Once upon a time there was a Salvation Army flag. The flag was torn at the edges and its faded colours were marked with filth. Its pole was battered and scraped and worn.
The flag had seen many faces; the grimace of an enemy as well as smiles of joy and elation from passers-by. This flag had a story to tell.
As soon as Frankie Filbert saw the flag he knew he had an important job to do. He knew, there and then, that he must be the one to carry the Salvation Army flag at the head of the march next Sunday.
Frankie had listened intently to the captain who had presented the flag in the evening meeting. He had explained what each of the colours of the flag represented. Frankie heard how the red part of the flag represented the blood of Jesus. It reminded Frankie of how Jesus had died on a cross. Frankie believed that Jesus had died so that he could be forgiven for all the bad things he had done in the past.
After the meeting, Frankie was filled with enthusiasm. He rushed down to the front of the meeting hall and hovered around the captain. He had to ask him about carrying the flag straight away.
The captain hesitated while he picked the right words to let Frankie down gently. ‘Mmmm. Well, you know, Frankie, we’d love you to carry the flag for us but I’m rather worried about your wheeziness. It’s been so troublesome lately and you’re not getting any younger.’
B-b-but I don’t understand.’ Frankie was visibly upset. ‘I could do it, Captain. The flag means everything to me. Just give me a chance.’ ‘Of course, Frankie. Believe me, you are one of my most dedicated soldiers. But it’s getting dangerous out there. The Skeleton Army seems to want some sort of battle and I’m not willing to put you in the middle of it all.’ ‘Fit for nothing now. Too old to even carry a flag, eh?’ Frankie mumbled as he trudged off. Frankie’s wife, May, thought that the captain might respond in this way. ‘Don’t worry, dear. I’m sure there are other ways you can help the captain.’ Doubt rose in her voice.
Unlike Frankie, the captain knew that next week’s march would be tough. He’d already had trouble from the Skeleton Army – two of the windows in the hall had had to be boarded up because of the shrieking mobs that had been throwing stones.
“Who is the Skeleton Army anyway?” Frankie asked his wife. May explained to Frank that the Skeleton Army was a group of men who were against The Salvation Army. ‘But why would anyone want to be against all the good that The Salvation Army does?’ Frankie questioned.
“I dunno, Frankie. You know what folks are like. Some of them don’t understand what we are trying to do. I know, for a fact, that one of the parish clergymen is very suspicious of us because we worship God in a different way. And then there’s the publicans - well, of course, they’re going to hate us cos we tell people about the dangers of alcohol which stops them drinking in their pubs. There’s no pleasing some people, eh?” Frankie thought carefully about all this. He was rather worried about what would happen if the Skeleton Army decided to show up.
Nevertheless, the next week, the Salvation Army march was scheduled to go ahead, as planned. All the members of the corps met at the Army hall before they proceeded into the town. It truly was a splendid sight! The flag was magnificent. Its colours reflected the pride and excitement of the soldiers who marched beneath it. The band prepared to face any opposition they would come up against. The singers raised their voices as they set off.
Few realised that Frankie had not shown up for the march. One person who had noticed their missing comrade was the captain. Only he understood why Frankie might have decided to stay away. The captain feared that he may have crushed Frankie’s enthusiasm. As the procession streamed into the streets, it seemed the captain had been wrong. There was no trouble in town tonight and no sign of the ‘Skeletons’. The Salvationists and their band marched with vigour and enjoyed spreading God’s message to onlookers and interested passers-by.
However, unbeknown to the band of Salvation Army soldiers, there was another flag that was to rival their own.
While The Salvationists set off on their march, on the other side of town the local publican, who was very popular in that area, was offering a cash prize to the first man who could bring the hated Army flag into his pub. The Mayor had even made a gift of a skull and cross bones banner to The Skeleton Army. It was indeed a battle of the flags!
The Salvationists had now reached a long, railway tunnel and prepared to march through it. ‘Steady on, Alf. Bring the flag down as we come through the tunnel. Wouldn’t want to scrape it now!’
The flag was lowered and the band entered the tunnel. The singing stopped as they passed beneath a dim light. The only sound that could be heard now was the steady rhythm of the Salvationists’ feet as they tramped on tirelessly.
As the thuds grew louder, the ‘Skeletons’ managed successfully to extinguish the only street lamp in the arch. An eerie darkness enveloped the soldiers. The steady march had now turned into a nervous shuffle. There was a momentary silence. ‘We’ve got company!’ the captain informed his troops. Thud! ‘What was that?’ Thud! Thud! Bang! ‘I don’t like the sound of that!’
And then, without warning, the battle commenced. The ‘Skeletons’ had risen up and were now shouting themselves hoarse amid the echoes and darkness. The Salvationists sprang into action. They never hesitated.
The taunts of the ‘Skeletons’ grew louder and, as one, the band of Salvationists retaliated with a rousing chorus of ‘Glory Halleluhah’. Their spirit would not be broken. As they emerged from the tunnel their voices drowned out the jeers or chants that had bothered them earlier. But one voice could be heard above them all and this voice wasn’t singing.
Where’s the flag?’ It was the strained voice of Alf, the flag-carrier. ‘Speak up, friend, we can’t hear you.’ ‘The flag - it’s gone!’ At the sound of Alf’s voice, the rousing chorus halted and died down until there was a hushed silence.
The captain roused the stunned Salvationists. ‘Never mind, comrades,’ he shouted, ‘they can’t take our salvation. Sing up! Sing up!’ And so they did.
It was a saddened group who marched down the hill back to their hall. ‘The flag’s gone!’ was the cry as they climbed the steps to the hall for their meeting.
But it hadn’t. Sensing that the ‘Skeletons’ would make an attempt to seize the dear old flag, Frankie had pushed his way amidst the body of attackers.
In the gloom the ‘Skeletons’ had not recognised him and assumed he was one of them. Frankie had slipped the flag off its pole. He had torn it a bit more in doing so but, rolling it into a scarf, he had wrapped it around his waist and trailed along in the wake of the procession. Too wheezy to sing or keep up with the crowd, Frankie had come along to the hall down a side path.
As the gloomy soldiers filed into the hall, Frankie appeared, panting and exhausted, waving the colours from the platform. How those soldiers shouted, and how the drummer thumped and the trumpets blared! And how the captain grinned to see his dedicated soldier fighting for the flag.
Soon after, a new flag was presented to the corps. A ceremony was performed and the flag displayed proudly on the platform. But the new flag did not inspire the affection of those Salvationists as did the first, old, torn, faded, filth- marked flag. It hung by the side of the platform for years, a relic of those glorious days.
Thinking activities White hat thinking activities Activity 1: Question Time Take a look at the pictures of The Salvation Army hall on page 7. What can you see? What questions would you like to ask about what you can see in the picture? Activity 2: Inside Information How could you find out more information about what the different symbols on the flag represent? Use The Salvation Army web site at www.salvationarmy.org.uk/schools www.salvationarmy.org.uk/schools Write to The Salvation Army Schools and Colleges Information Service. Once you have found a suitable source of information draw and label your own Salvation Army flag.
Red hat thinking activity Read the statements from each of the characters below. Circle whether you agree or disagree with what they are saying. Try to explain why you feel this way. Frankie ‘I should be the official flag-carrier.’ AgreeDisagree __________________________________________________________ Alf ‘I would like to continue to carry the flag for The Salvation Army.’ AgreeDisagree __________________________________________________________
May ‘I would like my husband to slow down a bit now he’s retired. I think he should take on a less strenuous job in The Salvation Army. He’d be good at welcoming new people to the Sunday meetings.’ Agree Disagree ________________________________________________________ The publican ‘Taking their flag is not enough. We need to disrupt their worship on a Sunday at The Salvation Army hall.’ Agree Disagree ________________________________________________________
Black hat thinking activity Imagine you are a member of The Salvation Army and you decide that you have had enough of the violence and abuse you receive when you march. Write a letter of complaint to the local police station to outline the danger that you are under when you march with The Salvation Army in public. List the disadvantages before you write your letter to ensure you don’t miss out any important points. Suggestions might include the following: Problems of physical violence No freedom of speech Damage to property Tampering with lighting in public pathways leading to dangerous walking conditions Those who are interested are unable to hear what The Salvation Army have to say
Yellow hat thinking activities Frankie was desperate to become the flag-carrier but couldn’t continue because of his health. Alf had shown himself to be very brave when he carried the flag through the tunnel. Imagine that the captain decides he would like people to apply, in writing, for the job of flag-carrier. How would you apply for the post? Think about your skills, experience and physical attributes. Why I would make a good flag-carrier ____________________________________________________________
Green hat thinking activities Activity 1: Design and Defend The Salvationists who were marching had little or no protection from unexpected missiles such as rotten tomatoes, mud and stones. Design protective uniform for the members of The Salvation Army. Activity 2: Flying the Flag The Salvationists and The Skeleton Army had flags which showed symbols that reflected their beliefs. Design a flag that reflects your beliefs and values in life. Blue hat thinking activities Devise a plan of action for the Skeleton Army to capture the flag during the Sunday morning service. You will need to think about the following: the route that you will take; how you will time the capture; the clothes you will wear; how many people will need to be involved; tools and resources you will need to carry to help you capture the flag. Use the aerial view of the Salvation Army hall to help you decide on your plan of action. Think about whether The Salvation Army will have any back-up plans or protection methods? How will you find out if they have?
Aerial View of the Salvation Army hall Welcome Area Platform
Key to aerial View of the Salvation Army hall Welcome area – area to welcome visitors door members of the congregation Platform – raised area where the preacher will stairs address the congregation flag reading desk – where the preacher will speak officers’ (minister) chairs external walkway chairs for congregation windowholiness table underground passage mercy seat underground boiler roomremovable wall panel underground coal bunkercoal hole – leading to coal bunker
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