Old Glory Cross
An adorned cross is any cross where an additional message is emphasized by the additional feature. Wrap our national banner around the cross, and we have a neat way of saying "America is a Christian country", "America is good", "America is right".
This page looks at why our Star Spangled Banner is used to make the Old Glory Cross and also why we adorn the cross with Crossed Flags. (For flags containing crosses, see Flag Index.)
God Bless America!
In 1831, when sea captain William Driver was sailing to rescue mutineers of the Bounty, he saw the flag wafted by the ocean breeze and exclaimed "Old Glory!" We'll never know why; whether his mind was on the country, the flag, or whether he was beseeching God's grace for the journey ahead. Whatever the reason, the Old Glory name has been unofficially attached to the nation's flag ever since.
God Bless America!
When Irving Berlin wrote 'God Bless America' in 1918, his intention was for the song to be a prayer for God's blessing and peace for the country. It was not intended to be a patriotic rally nor a claim that God was favoring our country. And yet this is what has happened. Berlin's song, our flag, and the word 'patriot', have been hijacked by mis-guided right wing zealots to further their cause. And we have all (or most of us) fallen in line.
Drunk on ideology and ethnocentric to a fault, we are convinced others see us as we do. And when the yoga/mantra/tofu people criticize us, that's further proof and confirmation of our righteousness.
We call our country 'America' when in fact America comprises several countries in the two continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. But this doesn't stop us from ignoring the other countries, since the United States of America is all that really matters.
We glorify our country and call it 'great'. Aggressive use of our military and economic strength for expansionism and national aggrandizement tramples our opponents. We engage in such fascism and then wonder why the rest of the world thinks we're self-righteous. Of course, when our dear leaders mimic Sen. Albert J. Beveridge's abominable turn of the century speech that God has given America the divine mission to lead the world1...
"Our nation is chosen by God and commissioned by history to be a model to the world."
George W. Bush, at the International Jewish B'nai B'rith convention, August 28, 2000
"But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future."
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, NBC Today, February 19, 1998
"At stake is not only the leadership of a party or the leadership of a country; at stake is our claim to the moral leadership of the world."
Robert F. Kennedy on Vietnam, as he entered the presidential race in 1968
Our self-righteousness began even earlier than this.
America was created partly as a refuge from the despotisms of popes and preachers. When the Calvinist dissenters settled in New England, they believed they were creating a New World, underwritten by God, in the form of a democracy free from the tyrannical monarchies of Europe with all its evils.
Of course not all settlers were Puritans. Others came to carve a new life for themselves and prosper materially, which many did. From these early struggles, America rose to become the super-power it is today.
But from the beginning and along the way, the forefathers who preferred material wealth over spiritual wealth, still latched on to the early moral mandate of the religious settlers.
As Mark Twain said: "History may not repeat, but it does rhyme." Saying that God is on our side is much easier than doing things to make sure we are on God's side. Rather than try to play God by leading the human race; just joining it would be a good start.
With the "nation under God", as stated in our Pledge of Allegiance, the Old Glory Cross shows that we are serious in being a Christian country and doing all we can to be Christ-like. You know, things like:
- not using God's name to advocate war, death and produce weapons of mass destruction.2
- not going into business, no matter how profitable, when the products (including oil, gas, gold, and diamonds) support some of the most ruthless dictators in the world, just because they supported our empire building in the past.3
- not giving tax cuts to the wealthy and benefit cuts for everyone else.4
- not discriminating against race or gender.5
...the list goes on and on.
Here we have an old hymn by Fanny Crosby (1820-1915):
To God be the glory,
Great things He hath done;
So loved He the world
That He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life
An atonement for sin,
And opened the lifegate
That all may go in.
...and to the same music, we sing:
O flag of our Union,
To you we'll be true,
To your red and white stripes,
And your stars on the blue,
The emblem of freedom,
The symbol of right,
We children salute you,
O flag fair and bright.
Indeed, the Old Glory Cross is a colorful cross. But is it Christian worship or self worship?
See also Glory Cross and Flags featuring crosses.