Behind the Hymn: The Banner of the Cross
The Banner of the Cross was written by Daniel W. Whittle.
Daniel Whittle served in the Civil War, obtaining the rank of major. He was known as Major Whittle the remainder of his life.
After the war, he went to work for Elgin Watch Company.
In 1873, he resigned his job and became a revival evanglist in the Dwight L. Moody association.
We do not know what inspired this song, but in the Old Testament days the Lord is given the name Jehovah Nissi, which means the Lord is My Banner.
Maybe in his studies of scripture and thinking of Jesus on the cross, he combined the two for the hymn we now know as The Banner of the Cross. After all, the cross is the banner of Jesus which leads us to salvation.
He wrote numerous songs under the pseudonyms El Nathan, Elias Nathan and W.W.D.
James McGranahan, a song director for Major Whittle, provided the tune for this song.
The Banner of the Cross first appeared in Gospel Hymns No. 5 published in 1887 by Ira Sankey and George C. Stebbins.
Major Whittle and James McGrahanan also wrote There Shall Be Showers of Blessings and I Know Whom I Have Believed.
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