Our heaven born banner
This is 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. (Click the image to see a larger version.)
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. This print was deposited for copyright with a companion piece, “Fate of the Rebel Flag” (below), on September 6 1861.
“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.
Fate of the Rebel flag
This is the second of a pair of patriotic prints after paintings by William Bauly. “Fate of the Rebel Flag” resembles its companion piece, “Our Heaven Born Banner” (above), in format, coloring, and its militantly Unionist theme.
In a spectacular nocturnal scene, a large warship sinks and burns on a calm sea littered with debris. The flames take on the configuration of the red, white, and blue flag of the Confederacy, the blue field with seven stars being formed by the night sky showing through the flames. Lightning strikes the flag from the upper left. (Click the image below to see a larger version.)
Both painted by William Bauly; Lithographs by Sarony, Major & Knapp, 449 Broadway, New York; Published by William Schaus, 749 Broadway, New York. Courtesy LOC.