<Go back to the People Index results>

Complete Explanation:
A pro-Union patriotic print, evidently based on Frederic Edwin Church's small oil painting "Our Banner in the Sky" or on a chromolithograph reproducing that painting published in New York by Goupil & Co. in the summer of 1861. Church's painting was inspired by the highly publicized Confederate insult to the American flag at Fort Sumter in April 1861 and by a sermon by Henry Ward Beecher published shortly thereafter. The present print was deposited for copyright, with a companion piece, "Fate of the Rebel Flag" (no. 1861-21), on September 6.

"Our Heaven Born Banner" shows a lone Zouave sentry watching from a promontory as the dawn breaks in the distance. His rifle and bayonet form the staff of an American flag whose design and colors are formed by the sky's light. Below, in the distance, is a fort--probably Sumter. The print is accompanied by eight lines of verse:

When Freedom from her mountain height

Unfurled her standard to the air,

She tore the azure robe of night

And set the stars of glory there.

She mingled with its gorgeous dyes

The milky baldrick of the skies,

And striped its pure celestial white

With streakings of the morning light.

Unlike its companion piece, "Our Heaven Born Banner" is printed using brown instead of black ink for the primary tone.

Website design © 2010 HarpWeek, LLC
All Content © 1998-2010 HarpWeek, LLC
Please submit questions to webmaster@harpweek.com