I recently read the story of the “An Appeal to Heaven” flag, its history and the important philosophical concept behind it. Most of us don’t even know there was such a flag and even fewer understand its significance. You really cannot correctly understand our nation’s history, or our Declaration of Independence, without understanding the concept behind “An Appeal to Heaven.”
The concept comes from English philosopher, John Locke. In his Second Treatise of Government, Locke explains that once all human avenues for seeking justice (judges, legislatures, executives, etc), or relief from tyranny, have been exhausted, only an appeal to Heaven remains. At that point, men become justified to seek relief by their own actions, appealing to the God of Heaven to sustain their endeavor, as no earthly mediator is left to them.
“…where the body of the people, or any single man, is deprived of their right, or is under the exercise of a power without right, and have no appeal on earth, then they have a liberty to appeal to heaven, whenever they judge the cause of sufficient moment.” (John Locke) Continue reading “An Appeal to Heaven”