Fling Out the Banner! Let It Float Hymn Story and Lyrics – George Washington Doane, 1799-1859

Fling Out the Banner! Let It Float Lyrics

Fling out the banner! let it float
Skyward and seaward, high and wide;
The sun that lights its shining folds,
The cross, on which the Savior died.

Fling out the banner! heathen lands
Shall see from far the glorious sight,
And nations crowding to be born
Baptize their spirits in its light.

Fling out the banner! angels bend
In anxious silence o’er the sight,
And vainly seek to comprehend
The wonder of the love divine.

Fling out the banner! sin sick souls
That sink and perish in the strife,
Shall touch in faith its radiant hem,
And spring immortal into life.

Fling out the banner! let it float
Skyward and seaward, high and wide,
Our glory, only in the cross;
Our only hope, the Crucified!

Fling out the banner! wide and high,
Seaward and skyward, let it shine;
Nor skill, nor might, nor merit ours;
We conquer only in that sign.

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Fling Out the Banner! Let It Float Hymn Story

GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, once Protestant Episcopal Bishop of New Jersey, was born the same year in which General George Washington died 1799.

His life, which spanned the years until 1872, was filled with remarkable activity.

He graduated at Union College in 1818, began his ministry at Trinity Church, New York, was a professor in Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, and later rector of Trinity Church, Boston, when he was elected to be Bishop of New Jersey.

Five years after he became bishop, he founded on the banks of the Delaware River at Burlington, New Jersey, a Protestant Episcopalian school for girls, known as Saint Mary s Hall, about which the best traditions of the Diocese of New Jersey have centered.

The bishop took the liveliest interest in the school and watched over the destiny of his educational child with fatherly anxiety.

His successor, Bishop John Scarborough, who inherited through his office this interest in the school, once told the writer how Bishop Doane came to write the famous missionary hymn, “Fling out the banner!”

In 1848 there was to be a flag raising at Saint Mary’s Hall, and the girls of the school appealed to Bishop Doane to write a song for them to sing on that occasion.

The result was the writing of this hymn, which was sung for the first time by the young ladies of the seminary and has been sung at thousands of missionary meetings since then, to the spiritual stimulation of many souls.

George Washington Doane
George Washington Doane

Fling Out the Banner! Let It Float Hymn YouTube Video

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