Thursday, April 10, 2008

An Appeal to Heaven



In HBO's John Adams television series there are a number of interesting flags. One is "An Appeal to Heaven" or "Liberty Tree". According to flagline.com , which sells a replica, it was Washington's naval flag. The John Adams series shows people in Boston walking around with the flag in Boston. I'm not sure whether that is accurate or not.

The phrase "an appeal to heaven" is taken from John Locke's Second Treatise on Government. In chapter 3, section 20 Locke writes:

"for wherever violence is used, and injury done, though by hands appointed to administer justice, it is still violence and injury, however coloured with the name, pretences, or forms of law...war is made upon the sufferers, who having no appeal on earth to right them, they are left to the only remedy in such cases, an appeal to heaven."

I wonder if we need to think about re-reading Locke and reviving this flag.

3 comments:

Aaron said...

Mitch, it's to my limitless amusement that in researching the phrase, "Appeal To Heaven", which I also remembered from the show months ago, the first useful link I ran across was on your blog.

Anonymous said...

The Sons of Liberty flew the flag before Washington put it aboard his ships. Though there was also the flag with "Appeal to God" at the top, a pine tree with a rattle snake at its base and "Don't Tread on Me" at the bottom.

BARRON said...

Hi Mitchell I created An Appeal To Heaven T-shirt... Check ti out.
http://newtestamentclothing.com/clothing.html