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Lift That Noble Banner High

A couple of weeks ago, my good friend Liz Wiffin extended an invitation that I couldn’t refuse: to help hold the banner for the Sydney Swans as they faced off against the GWS Giants! Emily and I eagerly accepted the chance to be part of this cherished tradition. Little did I know that this experience would become a profound illustration of faith, identity, and community.

We arrived at the stadium early, excitement buzzing through us like electricity. Liz, a seasoned member of the cheer squad, guided us through the tunnel where the magic happens. She assigned us our positions and we marched onto the field. It took a team of 25 dedicated fans to carry the banner and lift it high. These banners, if you’ve never seen one up close, are enormous—made from crêpe paper and sticky tape, attached to two long poles. They span at least 8-10 meters in length and tower over 3.5 to 4 meters high.

As we hoisted the banner, anticipation grew. We stood firm, gripping the poles, and waited for the Swans to run through towards their impending victory. The banner’s vibrant red was a bold statement, reflecting our solidarity and support. The tradition of the AFL banner, dating back to the 1930s, is unique in world sports. It's more than just a piece of crepe paper; it’s a labor of love, with each piece of tape meticulously placed by hand to send an encouraging message to the players. That day, standing under the banner, I felt like a true Swannie. Everyone in the stadium knew who I identified with.

Reflecting on that moment, I’m reminded of Psalm 20:5: "We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God." Just as we lifted the banner for the Swans, celebrating their strength and spirit, we are called to lift our banners in celebration of the victories Christ has won for us. Romans 8:37 reminds us that "we are more than conquerors through him who loved us."

Banners are not mere decorations; they are symbols of triumph, and declarations of victory, and indications of identity!

Exodus 17:15 tells us, “Moses built an altar and called it The Lord is my Banner.” The Lord, our Banner, is the One under whom we unite. He is our Savior, our protector, the One who identifies us as His own. When we stand under His banner, we are declaring our allegiance and our identity in Him.

That day at the game, as I stood with Liz, Emily, and the rest of the cheer squad, I realised how powerful it is to be part of something bigger than ourselves. So, what’s your banner? What are you standing under and what does it signify? Are you celebrating the victories God has given you, both big and small? Are you identifying yourself as a follower of Christ? Let’s remember that, like the Swans’ banner, our faith banners are not just for show. They are declarations of who we are and who we belong to. They tell the world of the victories we have in Christ and the hope we carry because of Him. Next time you find yourself at a crossroads or facing a challenge, imagine lifting up your banner, high and proud.

"Cheer, cheer the red and the white

Honour the name by day and by night

Lift that noble banner high

Shake down the thunder from the sky

What though the odds be great or small

Swans will go in and win over all

While our loyal swans are marching

Onward to victory"


Living under the banner of faith is a daily journey that can be expressed in countless ways, both practical and abstract. Here are a few ideas to inspire you to lift your banner high. Remember, you don’t have to do all of these; maybe just reflect on one and see where it takes you.

  1. Kindness in Small Acts: Acts of kindness are like waving your banner for all to see. When you hold the door open, offer a smile, or help someone, you are showing others the love of Christ. "Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16).

  2. Wear Your Faith: Wearing a piece of jewelry or clothing that symbolizes your faith is like wearing a small, personal banner. It’s a subtle yet powerful way to show who you belong to. This is of course only symbolic and a personal reminder, but it can also spark questions and interest in others.

  3. Scripture Post-Its: Writing Bible verses on sticky notes and placing them around your home, office, or car is like planting mini-banners everywhere you go. These reminders can lift your spirits and those around you. "His banner over me is love" (Song of Solomon 2:4).

  4. Social Media Positivity: Use your social media platforms to share positive, faith-based messages. This is like lifting a digital banner for all your followers to see, proclaiming your faith and spreading hope.

  5. Artistic Expression: Use your creativity as a banner of faith. Whether it’s painting, drawing, sculpting, or even digital art, create pieces that reflect your relationship with God and His presence in your life. Display these works in your home, share them online, or give them as gifts. Your art can be a powerful visual banner proclaiming God’s glory.

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This is amazing, good reminder that we are a banner for our victorious God🙏

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