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of Christians an object of idolatry, its transfusion into a military standard carried other sentiments along with it, and hence we perceive in all wars, properly crusades, a bloodthirstiness and a ferocity, which give to the actors for a time the characters of demons. It has been part of the system established in Rome, under the bishops, pretending to be the successors of Saint Peter, to deliver for particular enterprises, consecrated banners of the cross; but to make up a list of such banners would be a tedious labour, and its monotony would fatigue the reader.* The pretext has been the conversion to the faith, and to that end everything must yield. It would appear that the sentiment of the Koran was adopted by the bishop of Rome, and in the valleys of Vaudois, in the twelfth century, and in the succeeding centuries, the cross was bathed in the blood of a multitude of Christians, which no man can number. Conversion or death was the alternative, and to the murderers the same privileges were secured as to the crusaders against the Turks and Saracens.
In the twelfth century a holy war was begun, by order of Pope Urban III. and Innocent III., against the inhabitants of the country bordered by the Baltic
*As late as December, 1852, we find the following description in a letter from Rome, under date the 20th of that month:
"The first foreign regiment in the service of the Holy See has received a flag from the Holy Father; it was presented to it after a solemn consecration by the bishop of Macerata, in which place the depôt of the regiment now is. This corps is destined to be the commencement of the pontifical army. This brave regiment wished that its flag should be blessed on the day of the Immaculate Conception of the most Holy Virgin, in order to place it under the protection of the Celestial Militia.”— Copied from the Univers, in the London Sun, of 29th December, 1852.
A bishop preached to the Livonians, sword in hand, and the wretched people were forced under the cross.*
Across the Atlantic, the war cross, duly consecrated by the Pope, was carried by Columbus, and planted, sword in hand, on the first land of the New World. Hernan Cortes entitled his first settlement on the great continent, the rich city of the TRUE CROSS; and in his despatch to his Sovereign, he thus describes his triumphs over a tribe of Mexicans: "I burnt more than ten villages, of which there was one of more than three thousand houses, and the inhabitants and other people fought with me. As we brought the standard of the cross, and fought for our faith, and for the service of your Sacred Majesty, in your royal adventure God gave us so much of victory, that we slew much people, without receiving any damage to ourselves."†
* Mosheim's "Eccl. History."
The passage in the original, "Carta de Relacion a su Magestad el Emperador, por el Capitan General de la nueva España Don Fernando Cortes," is
“Otro dia torne a salir por otra parte, antes que fuesa de dia sin ser sentido de ellos, con los de caballo, y cien piones, y los Indios mis amigos: y les quemé mas de diez peleblos, en que hubo pueblo de ellos de mas de tres mil casas; y alli pelearon conmigo los del pueblo, questra gente no debia de estár allí. Y como traiamos la bandera de la Cruz, y puñabamos por nuestra fé, y por servicio de vuestra sacra Magestad, en su muy Real ventura nos dió Dios tanta victoria, que matamos mucha gente, sin que los nuestros racebiesen daño.”—Carta de Relacion, p. 69.
The Nations, States, and Cities, which bear on their Standards and Ensigns the figures of the Cross or the Crescent.—The Recapitulation of the whole.
THE nations, states, and cities that bear the cross on their standards and flags, are Great Britain, and its dependencies in India, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, America, and its islands, and in the Mediterranean; and the Northern nations, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Prussia, Russia, Hanover, Oldenburgh, Riga. The Southern states are, Greece, Sardinia, Leghorn, Genoa, and Venice. Provinces and cities; Biscay, Catalonia, Galicia; Picardy, Marseilles, Provence, Calais, Dunkirk. The crosses are of various forms, sizes, and colours, and are more or less conspicuous. In all America, out of British Canada, there are only two states which display the cross. Venezuela, yellow saltier cross on a blue field; and the Brazil, a small red cross of Christ on a green field, with an armillary sphere. One of the most significant of the crossbearing ensigns is that of Venice, and it displays correct taste in the distinction between peace and war. The flag is a red field, with a blue stripe, near the lower edge, and on the blue stripe, as a resting place, stands a winged lion, with its right leg and paw stretched out like an arm and a hand. In the peace flag the animal holds out in its paw a small cross; and
in the war flag the lion, instead of the cross, holds out a sword.
The crescent-bearing standards and ensigns are not so numerous as the crosses. Turkey has in its standard three crescents within a green oval, on a red field. The ensign of the Turks has three crescents. The Turkish war ensign, one crescent and one star. The Grand Vizier has three crescents on a flag of three bars, of yellow, white, and red. Mecca has three crescents, on a green field; Tripoli, the same. Muscat has three, on a red field. The ensigns of Mahratta and Surat, marked "British," have the crescents. Japan, which is not under Mahometan rule, has a red flag, with two long swords crossed, with one white crescent on the red field. There is only one place in Europe where the crescent is seen, except in Turkey, and that is on the island of Ameland, off the north coast of Holland. It is singular how it found its way there.
There are two crescent-bearing ensigns of such a remarkable character, as to demand a special notice and description. These are, of the Turkish Capitan Pacha, and of the Shah of Persia. The flag of the first is a blue field, with a triangular cut in the outer border of the cloth, leaving the upper and lower corners sharply pointed. In the middle of the field is a yellow cross, placed horizontally with the cross-beam at the end next the flag-staff. About the middle of the main beam of the cross is a circular figure, within which are three white crescents, with their convex sides turned towards the foot of the cross.
We are not able to give the historical explanation of this singular symbolical banner, further than what it tells of itself. It is evidently emblematical of the conquest of the crescent over the cross, as the latter is
laid prostrate, and the crescents are placed in the order in which they appear in the standard of Turkey.
The banner of the Shah of Persia is still more significant and remarkable, and is manifestly an historical flag of great meaning. It is composed of five horizontal bars or stripes, the upper and lower of which are blue, the second and fourth yellow, and the fifth or middle, green. The outer edge of the flag has a part cut out, but the green bar projects, so as to give to the ensign three pointed ends. On each of the blue bars are three yellow stars of six rays, and two crescents of a yellow colour. On the green bar in the middle, is a naked sword, with the handle towards the flag-staff, and at the outer end are two crescents, with a star between them; the figures of a white colour. On each of the yellow bars are two small red crosses. In giving this description, we give all that we know of this remarkable flag, but the curiosity is excited to know more about it, and we cannot resist the desire to offer a conjecture. This flag, in its emblems, appears to be a document of archæological value, for the crescent in it is not the symbol of Mahometanism, but, in conjunction with the star, takes us back to the Sabian worship of the ancient Chaldeans and Persians. Some of the relics dug out of the ruins of Babylon have the rites of worship of a god engraved on them, and among the various figures are the star and the crescent. But what shall we make of the four red crosses on the two yellow bars? As they are placed by themselves, surrounded by the emblems of idolatry, we must draw the unhappy conclusion that they are the captives of war, taken by the sword of Sapor or of Chosroes. There are three flags recognised of Persia: the standard-a white field, with three black lions; the mercantile flag-a white ground, with a yellow