Why Country Flags are not used in Catholic Church
Q: I am a Veteran and currently debating with my pastor who refuses to allow the American Flag to be displayed in the front of the Church. He has it back in the vestibule. Are there rules about this? – Joseph in PA
A: There are no specific rules about flags in either the liturgical books or the Code of Canon Law.
However, some time ago the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy encouraged pastors not to place the flag within the sanctuary itself, which is for the altar, the ambo, the presidential chair and the tabernacle. They recommended an area be found outside the sanctuary, or in the vestibule of the church. But these are recommendations only and it remains for the diocesan bishop to determine regulations in this matter.
So, your pastor is on fairly good ground. Patriotism remains an important virtue for Christians. But how that patriotism is expressed in the location of the flag can admit of some local differences, and should conform well to liturgical norms as well as pastoral solicitude.