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.