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American Symbols

American Symbols

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American Symbols

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  1. American Symbols

  2. United States Flag • The first design of this symbol had a circle of 13 stars on a blue background and 13 red and white stripes. Today, it has one star for each state and 13 red and white stripes for each of the 13 original colonies. • This symbol is sometimes called “Old Glory”. • This symbol inspired the writing of the song that became our nationalanthem. An anthem is a special song sung to show honor and loyalty. • Francis Scott Key wrote about this symbol as he stood on the deck of a ship of the coast of Ft. McHenry, Maryland, during a War of 1812 battle. He could see this symbol by the light made by the firing of cannons during the attack on Ft. McHenry. • It is our oldest symbol. It was approved in 1777 by the Continental Congress. The original design has changed, but the colors have remained the same.

  3. The Bald Eagle • The national bird lives only in North America. It became a national symbol in 1782. • The National bird is a symbol of strength, skill, and bravery for Americans.

  4. The Statue of Liberty • This symbol has a crown with seven rays to stand for the seven seas and seven continents. • This symbol holds a torch of friendship and welcome in her right hand. The left hand holds a book with the date of our Declaration of Independence---July 4, 1776. At her feet is a broken chain to symbolize freedom. • This symbol stands on the island in the harbor of New York City. • This was a gift to United States from the people of France.

  5. The Liberty Bell • This symbol got its name in 1829 by people who believed that slavery was wrong. They believed everyone was entitled to freedom and liberty. • It was cast in England in 1752 and later brought to the colonies. It was used to announce special events. • In 1776, some people in Philadelphia rang it for several hours to announce the Declaration of Independence had been signed. • This symbol cracked while it was being rung to honor John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

  6. The Great Seal of the United States • The face/front of this symbol was designed by William Barton. It is stamped or attached to important papers and letters from the President and is pictured on the back of dollar bills. • The reverse or back of this symbol was designed by Charles Thomson. • Both sides appear on the dollar bill.

  7. This side is printed on the left side of the back of the dollar bill. Notice the face is lighted and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the West or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone is the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin’s belief that 1 man couldn’t do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything. “ IN GOD WE TRUST” is on this currency. The Latin above the Pyramid, “ANNUIT COEPTIS” means “God has favored our undertaking.” The Latin below the pyramid, “NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM” means “a new order has begun.” At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776.

  8. This side of the Great Seal appears on the right side of the dollar bill. It is also on every National Cemetery in the U.S. & on the centerpiece of most hero’s monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President & ist is always visible whenever he speaks. The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol of victory for 2 reasons: He is no afraid of a storm & is strong & smart enough to soar above it. He wears no material crown. We had just broken away from the King of England. Notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of the shield is a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle’s beak read “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, meaning “one nation from many people.” Above the Eagle are 13 stars representing the 13 original colonies & nay clouds of misunderstanding rolling away. In his talons, he holds an olive branch & arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in times of war, his gaze turns toward the arrows

  9. Uncle Sam • Sam Wilson was a meat inspector for the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. Each barrel of meat which passed his inspection was marked with a large “U.S”. Some of his Co-Workers began to say that those initials stood for Uncle Sam. • This became a national symbol by an act of Congress in 1961. • The symbol first appeared on an army recruiting poster. • A man named James M. Flagg designed the symbol.

  10. Star Spangled Banner • It was written as a poem by Francis Scott Key in 1814 and was later put to music by John Stratford Smith. • Inspired by the distant sight of “Old Glory” still flying after a long night of bombardment by the British Navy on Ft. McHenry. • Today it is often referred to as the National Anthem.

  11. The Pledge of Allegiance • Francis Bellany was the author. • It was first published in September 1892 in Youth’s Companion magazine. • The original wording was: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

  12. Washington Monument On the aluminum cap are displayed 2 words: LAUS DEO. They have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5,125 inches high, perched atop the monument over looking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia. They mean “Praise be to God!” Construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President. It was 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took 25 years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to God. From atop this granite & marble structure, visitors can view the city with its division into 4 major segments. From the top, you can see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant…a perfect cross with the White House to the north, Jefferson Memorial to the south, the Capitol building to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

  13. Other Washington D.C. Monuments Jefferson Memorial LincolnMemorial

  14. American Dollar Bill Current design created in 1957. This so-called paper money is in fact a cotton & linen blend with red & blue minute silk fibers running through it. It is actually fabric. That’s why it doesn’t fall apart when we run it through the washer. A special blend of ink is used, the contents we will never know. It is overprinted with symbols & then it is starched to make it water resistant & pressed to give it that nice crisp look.

  15. Front of the Dollar Here you see the U.S. Treasury Seal.. On the top you will see the scales for the balance-a balanced budget. In the center you have a carpenter’s T-square, a tool used for an even cut. Underneath is the Key to the U.S Treasury

  16. Back of Dollar You will see 2 circles Both circles, together, comprise the Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress requested that Ben Franklin & a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them 4 years to accomplish this task & another 2 years to get it approved.

  17. Unlucky Number They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number. This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But, think about this: 13 original colonies, 13 signer of the Declaration of Independence 13 stripes on our flag 13 steps on the Pyramid 13 letters in the Latin words in the Great Seal 13 letters in “E PLURIBUS UNUM 13 stars above the Eagle 13 plumes of feathers on each span of the Eagle’s wing 13 bars on the shield 13 leaves on the olive branch 13 fruits & 13 arrows!!