Under Two Flags

* November 7, 1942

The Territorial Commander had a pleasant surprise for the occasion—he was to present a session flag to the “Valiants.” As the Commissioner stood in the sunny bay recess, to the left the glorious United States flag, to the right the beautiful Salvation Army flag, a cadet stepped forward and saluted the Army flag, a cadet stepped forward and saluted the United States flag, and with much fervor of patriotism, recited the pledge of allegiance. Then, stepping back, the cadet saluted The Salvation Army flag and with voice vibrant with religious devotion, pledged allegiance to the cross.

How privileged Salvationists of this land are to serve under two such flags—the stars and stripes of the United States, and the yellow, red, and blue of The Salvation Army!

When we salute the flag of the United States of America, we are giving outward testimony of our nationality. We are showing our respect for the ideals and traditions, the institutions and principles for which the flag is the visible token.

When one salutes the flag he sees America, a great and mighty nation, created, united, and preserved by the efforts and sacrifices of brave and loyal men and women to whom ideals and honor of this wonderful country have been dearer than life itself.

When the United States was very young, General George Washington and a committee drew up the design for a flag. George Ross, one of the committee, took General Washington to Philadelphia to an upholstery shop in Arch Street, which was owned by Betsy Ross, a widow of George Ross’ nephew. They gave Betsy Ross the pattern of the flag with the order to make one. So it was that Betsy Ross made our first American flag, and it was adopted by Congress of the United States, June 14, 1777.

What battles our flag has been through and how proud we are that it has always come out victorious!

It is, indeed, an honor and a privilege to pay tribute to the banner of such a country.

What battles our church flags and our Salvation Army flag have come through!

When we recall the Crusaders, the Reformation, The Salvation Army, and the Pilgrim Fathers, the Wesleys, Martin Luther, Savanorola, William and Catherine Booth, what visions of martyrdom and sacrifice come to us!

When William Booth renamed the Christian Mission, The Salvation Army, in 1878, he and his followers felt the need of a flag—so William Booth designed the first Salvation Army Flag, a beautiful emblem of yellow, red, and blue. The red background symbolizing the Blood of Christ, the blue border, the Purity of God, and the yellow star in the center, the Fire of God’s Holy Spirit.

Let us, as God’s followers, no matter what our creed and doctrine, realize fully in our hearts the principles for which our Church flag stands. Let us be loyal and true.

President Roosevelt said, recently: “Perhaps not since the Fathers of the Constitution established freedom of religion have our people had greater need for a return to the teachings of the Master. Often in past years I have emphasized the need for a revival of religion. Many times I have emphasized that the one solution of the problems which confront a distraught world will be found in a return to the practical application to every-day life—among nations as among men—of the eternal principles of the Christian religion as summed up in the Sermon on the Mount.”

“We have received a splendid inheritance from the founders of the nation who, not being indifferent to religious principles, guaranteed freedom of conscience to all citizens and thereby made possible the free and unhampered development of the Christian life.”

May we, who are serving under two such flags, the red, white, and blue of these United States, and the yellow, red, and blue of The Salvation Army, have spiritual fortitude and courage and be guided by Divine wisdom and understanding so that we will exemplify to all mankind the strength and security that lie in spiritual things—thus shall those eternal verities for which these flags stand make our world a better, braver, finer, and freer place in which to live.

By Ethel Hols Abrams

*As The Salvation Army has continued for 152 years to reach the goals set by William Booth, the pages of the “War Cry” have faithfully represented the Army’s mission. This special Heritage edition emulates the “War Cry” during the era of World War II. Annual “Heritage” editions encapsulate the look, feel and content of the “War Cry” by decade. This special July issue is drawn from primary source material and is made possible by the efforts of the National Archives and Research Department and its Director Mrs. Susan Mitchem and Archivist Tyler Boenecke. May you be strengthened by the reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, in this great salvation war.

Atomic Power

* November 17, 1945

Scarcely a soul remained unmoved by the initial news of the advent of the atomic bomb, and although many weeks have slipped by since Hiroshima became the guinea pig for this two billion-dollar experiment, the subject, because of its tremendous possibilities in war and peace, promises to be front page news for many a day to come.

There is little point in discussing the morality or lack of it involved in the use of the atomic bomb. Much has been said pro and con, but at what point we become unmoral in the use of explosive power—who is to say? Certainly many American and Japanese lives were saved by the shortening of the onslaught against the Nipponese islands and while the previous process carried out by the super-fortresses was more prolonged, who will say it was less painful? We know that many nations were in the race for the secret and even though American genius together with other minds won out, we still gave adequate warning to the enemy.

In considering atomic power many would say it is something really new, and to this generation, its destructive force is surely an eye opener. But is it really new? We have no less an authority than the wisest human mind of all time, that it is not. We read in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.” In checking this assertion with other sacred references there is every indication, that after all, it is but a rediscovery of a force of nature not entirely unknown to previous inhabitants.

World leaders today state very positively that unless atomic power is kept under control we stand in danger of annihilation. That is exactly what happened in a previous time. Between the first and second verses of the Bible (Gen. 1:1, 2), there is revealed such an explosion that the world which God had created was made a total wreck along with the people who brought it about. “And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the earth.” Scientists who attempt to span the elapsed time between these two verses place it around one and three-quarter billion years. But the time element is not as important as the event itself.

Jeremiah, in trying to exhort Israel to repentance refers them back to a time when the fierce anger of God brought about a scene of complete desolation on the earth. “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger.” And lest we become too indignant at such events let us remember that God is still “Top Man” to do as He will with His own (Rev. 18:6). Other references to this force are found in Psalms 97: 1-4; 18: 13-15; Job 4: 9, and elsewhere.

The splitting of the atom is filling men’s hearts with fear (Luke 21: 26), instead of bringing sweet contemplation of what might be done in a useful way to make life really worthwhile for all peoples of the earth. Just imagine having heat, light and power at practically no cost to the consumer! When Paul quoted “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him” (1 Cor. 2: 9), He was but reminding us of the very limited vision that our finite minds have of the future.

Another sidelight on the use of nature’s power is shown in the story of Elijah in his “battle” with the prophets of Baal. After the futile efforts of the false prophets to bring down fire to consume the sacrifice, Elijah challenged God to make Himself known in no unmistakable manner. The Heavenly fire sent in response to the prayer of Elijah consumed not only the sacrifice and the wood and water, but the very stones themselves.

God’s wonderful provisions for the happiness of mankind can be used or abused, with consequent blessing or confusion, joy or woe. The Christian world today wishes to use the great forces of nature for the benefit of all mankind, but there are other forces at work in human hearts, which, if allowed to assume leadership, will rob us of the intended blessings and bring about the ruin of all nations. May the wisdom of God predominate in our hearts and those of our leaders everywhere.

By Major Victor Dimond

*As The Salvation Army has continued for 152 years to reach the goals set by William Booth, the pages of the “War Cry” have faithfully represented the Army’s mission. This special Heritage edition emulates the “War Cry” during the era of World War II. Annual “Heritage” editions encapsulate the look, feel and content of the “War Cry” by decade. This special July issue is drawn from primary source material and is made possible by the efforts of the National Archives and Research Department and its Director Mrs. Susan Mitchem and Archivist Tyler Boenecke. May you be strengthened by the reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, in this great salvation war.

One Brotherhood, One Purpose

* September 30, 1944

The whole Christian tradition and everything we know about God’s will for man leads us to insist that the principles underlying human brotherhood cannot be side-stepped or ignored by any honest person.

Consequently, we cannot but denounce the propaganda in this country which deliberately aims to stir up racial and religious hatred and, by this means, to render futile our efforts to forge a true brotherhood among the people of this country.

We are fighting for that brotherhood against the people who set out with the firm intention of destroying it.

And in this war, our American soldiers fight as comrades—without respect to race, or class, or religion.

Raked by withering fire, sweltering in bloody pits, hour after endless hour, without hope of relief, without thought of quitting— they fight on.

They are just ordinary American boys—Catholics, Protestants, Jews. They are drawn as close as brothers by a single will—determined to sell their lives dearly for freedom.

Who would ever speak of these lads disparagingly? Who would dare to sabotage their fight for freedom by attempting to make them hate each other because they are different in race and religion?

We, at home, must make it our business not to let anybody go unchallenged who speaks or acts to spread hatred between Americans. We must speak out—out loud—against un-Christian and un-American prejudice that would turn race against race, religion against religion, color against color.

Men who are good enough to die for us are good enough to live with us—as brothers.

We must believe this ourselves—and make others believe it. We must remember that to build a strong America—and a truly Christian America—we need to live and work together, side by side, with the same unity of purpose as our soldiers fight side by side—without religious hatred and without racial prejudice.

For God made America of many races and many religions. And it is God’s will that we do our best to mold this America of many races and many religions into one, strong, united and free people!

*As The Salvation Army has continued for 152 years to reach the goals set by William Booth, the pages of the “War Cry” have faithfully represented the Army’s mission. This special Heritage edition emulates the “War Cry” during the era of World War II. Annual “Heritage” editions encapsulate the look, feel and content of the “War Cry” by decade. This special July issue is drawn from primary source material and is made possible by the efforts of the National Archives and Research Department and its Director Mrs. Susan Mitchem and Archivist Tyler Boenecke. May you be strengthened by the reminder that we stand on the shoulders of giants, surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, in this great salvation war.