OpenGL (very simple) Loading a bitmap

How do I load a bitmap not as a texture but just as an image in an OpenGL window . For use as a backround.
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its been a little while since ive done any opengl but the way i used to make backgrounds in 3d was to use a texture. you make a surface like a large square and texture it. theres also tricks you can use, when i wrote a small 3d world (just a grassy field with mountains in the background, a house and sky) i used a sphere that was textured with the sky image. the sphere was big enough so that the rest of the world was inside of it. the mountains were a ring around the center inside the sphere, like a wall. that was textured. and the grass was a large floor of polygon squares all textured with random grass textures.

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