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American Studies 1, Lesson 1: Symbols

American Studies 1 new style / American Studies 2 old style

Rachel Heller

on 13 September 2015

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Transcript of American Studies 1, Lesson 1: Symbols

Lesson 1: American Symbols
But first, a bit about the course:
Mostly lecture:
relating the history to current events
questions on the reading or current events
Ask questions!
The test:
1. An Illustrated History of the USA (chapters 1-20)
2. Questions from my lectures
4. Geography (list on Blackboard)
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Old Glory
Stars and stripes
"There is no better symbol of our country's values and traditions than the Flag of the United States of America. Chosen by the Continental Congress in 1777, it continues to exemplify the profound commitment to freedom, equality, and opportunity made by our founders more than two centuries ago. Our flag's proud stars and stripes have long inspired our people, and its beautiful red, white and blue design is known around the world as a beacon of liberty and justice."
--Bill Clinton, Flag Day 1996
Designer: Congressman Francis Hopkinson (?)
Made by: Betsy Ross (?) 1776
No particular order or proportions until Executive Order in 1912
June 14, 1777 first Flag Act: 13 stripes, red and white, 13 stars white on blue
Later acts: more stars, proportions and arrangement of stars in rows with one point upward
last change 1959: Eisenhower: arrangement of 50 stars
Flag Day:
July 4th is Independence Day, but June 14 is Flag Day
since 1885 in Wisconsin
1916: Woodrow Wilson established June 14 as Flag Day
1949: Harry Truman signed Act of Congress
citizens called on to display flag that week (many do all the time)
Folding the flag
(Flag Code: Public Law 829)

General Armistead, commander at Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, ordered a flag large enough for the British to see from a distance (30 x 42 inches)
inspired Francis Scott Key to write a poem commemorating the War of 1812
fit the tune of an old melody
poem and melody appeared in Baltimore newspapers and others
1916: President Wilson ordered it played at military events
1918: first played at a baseball game as gesture for US soldiers in France
1931: President Hoover made it official anthem (but without words)
1892: first published in a children's magazine in honor of Columbus Day
written by Francis Bellamy
Columbus Day that year: 12 million children recited it (400th anniversary)
1923: change in words from "my flag" to "the flag of the United States of America"
1942: officially recognized
1943: Supreme Court ruled that children could not be forced to recite it
1954: added "under God"
President Eisenhower: "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war."
War of 1812
Barrels of meat stamped "US"
Sam Wilson: meat supplier
OR Irish immigrants: Stait Aontaithe Mheiricea (USA)
Thomas Nast cartoons
Recruitment poster 1917
national bird of the US
Haliaeetus leucocephalis
only eagle unique to North America
appears on the Great Seal
appears on money
Ben Franklin disapproved
"He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him."
motto: "From many, one."
June 20, 1782: adopted for use on the Great Seal by the Continental Congress
1956: motto changed to "In God We Trust"
desire for peace, but readiness to use war as needed
usually 13 leaves for 13 states
Olive Branch
13 arrows for 13 states
faces the olive branch: preference for peace
White: purity
Red: bravery
Blue: vigilance, perseverence, justice
unity of the 13 states
The Statue of Liberty
Liberty Enlightening the World
Liberty Island in NY Harbor
designed by Frederic Bartholdi
gift to the US from France
dedicated in 1886
skin is copper
statue is 46 meters high
whole structure: 93 meters
iron and steel framework
concrete and granite pedestal
female figure: Libertas, Roman goddess of freedom
torch: enlightens the world
tabula ansata: represents law
July 4, 1776
broken chain at her feet
7 rays on crown = 7 seas, 7 continents
1. Symbols
2. Native Americans
3. Myths and Legends
4. Religion
5. Government
6. Electing the President
7. Holidays (video only)
Never let it touch the ground.
Never let the sun set on it.
Hang it with the stars on the left.
Red = courage
White = purity
Blue = loyalty
3. questions on topics in the topics list
Full transcript