Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Elizabeth Cross Instituted

The Times Online has a story about the recent institution by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, font of honours, of the Elizabeth Cross, named for the reigning monarch, to recognize those who have given their lives for Queen and Country on the battlefield. This decoration follows in the tradition of Queen Victoria who instituted the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War to recognize battlefield bravery regardless of rank and in the tradition of King George VI who instituted the George Cross to recognize civilian bravery during World War II. Famously, the original Victoria Crosses were made from the melted down bronze canon of the Russians captured in the Crimean War. Probably the most famous award of the George Cross was when the medal was bestowed on the entire population of the island fortress of Malta for their courage in the face of a continuous bombardment from Axis forces. The George Cross is still featured on the flag of Malta to this day. According to the story Queen Elizabeth II was very much involved in the institution of the medal that bears her name and most agree that it is entirely timely and fitting to have an award to recognize those who have given their lives in the service of their monarch around the world. God Save the Queen!

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