The Orthodox Pages





















Question 56.

Wondering why All Orthodox Churches fly the Greek flag and not they Greek and Cypriots flags (even in Cyprus). For that matter, is it not the Eastern Orthodox church? So why fly any flags at all?


Answer to Question 56.


When you say all Orthodox Churches Iím sure you mean all Greek Orthodox Churches because the Orthodox Church is not only Greek. The Russian, Serbian, Romanian, Bulgarian and other national Orthodox Churches do not fly the Greek flag.  The Greek Church and the Cypriot Church are two separate independent churches united in one faith and communion as are all Orthodox Churches. There is no reason for the Greek Church to fly the Cypriot flag because they are not Cypriot. In England the majority of the Greek Churches were established by the Cypriot people but ecclesiastically they do not belong to the Cypriot Church, they are under the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and so fly the Greek flag.  In Cyprus the Church cannot use the Cypriot flag on its own because it does not represent her. The Cypriot flag was designed so that it wouldn't portray the two religions of the island and so does not represent the Greek Orthodox Church. The Church of Cyprus has always used the Greek flag because 1) It states that it is Greek and 2) Because the Greek flag has a Cross with states that it is Christian. Many Churches use both the Greek and Cypriot flags but never the Cypriot flag on its own because it cannot represent these two requirements of Greek and Christian. We also fly other flags like the double headed eagle of the Byzantine Empire.  When we speak of the Eastern Orthodox Church we mean the Church east of Rome, which after the Great Schism of 1054 the Church divided into the Western Church which was Rome and the Christian countries in the west, and the Eastern Church, which at the time was Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem and their surrounding territories. The Eastern Orthodox Church is a group of many national Orthodox churches and not simply the Church of Greece or the Church of Cyprus.