Numerous studies have shown that mortality salience strengthens defense of cultural institutions and that this effect is buffered by self-esteem. The present study examines a novel prediction, based on social identity processes, that group identification mediates the impact of the interaction of mortality salience and self-esteem on worldview defense. Self-esteem and mortality salience were manipulated using Greenberg and colleagues' standard methods, the dependent measure was defense of America, and the mediating variable was identification with America. As predicted, mortality salience only increased identification with America and defense of America when self-esteem was not enhanced, enhancing self-esteem attenuated the effects of mortality salience. Also following predictions, the interactive effect of mortality salience and self-esteem on defense of America was mediated by identification with America.