National symbols of the United States

National symbols of the United States are the symbols used to represent the United States of America.

List of symbols

Symbol Name Image References
Flag Flag of the United States Flag of the United States [1]
Seal Great Seal of the United States Great Seal of the United States (obverse) (obverse)
Great Seal of the United States (reverse) (reverse)
[2]
National bird Bald eagle Bald Eagle Portrait [3]
National mammal North American bison American bison k5680-1 [4][5][6]
National anthem "The Star-Spangled Banner"
"The Star-Spangled Banner"
[7]
National motto
(official)
"In God We Trust" [8]
National motto
(unofficial, appears on coinage)
E pluribus unum [9]
National floral emblem Rose Rosa rubiginosa 1 [10]
National march "The Stars and Stripes Forever"
"The Stars and Stripes Forever"
[11]
National tree Oak tree (Quercus) Eiche bei Schönderling, 2 [12]

See also

References

  1. ^ 4 U.S.C. § 1 ("The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars, white in a blue field."); § 2 ("On the admission of a new State into the Union one star shall be added to the union of the flag; and such addition shall take effect on the fourth day of July then next succeeding such admission.").
  2. ^ 4 U.S.C. § 41 ("The seal heretofore used by the United States in Congress assembled is declared to be the seal of the United States.").
  3. ^ A modified version of Charles Thomson's proposal for the Great Seal of the United States on June 20, 1782, with a bald eagle in the center, was adopted by the Continental Congress on June 20, 1782. Bruce E. Beans, Eagle's Plume: The Struggle to Preserve the Life and Haunts of America's Bald Eagle (University of Nebraska Press 1997), p. 59.
  4. ^ National Bison Legacy Act, Pub. L. 114-152, 130 Stat. 373 (approved May 9, 2016), § 3(a) ("The mammal commonly known as the 'North American bison' is adopted as the national mammal of the United States.")
  5. ^ "15 Facts About Our National Mammal: The American Bison". United States Department of the Interior. May 9, 2016. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  6. ^ Harris, Gardiner (May 9, 2016). "Obama Signs Law Making Bison the First National Mammal". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2016.
  7. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 301(a) ("The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.").
  8. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 302 ("'In God we trust' is the national motto.").
  9. ^ Frank S. Ravitch, Boris I. Bittker & Scott C. Idleman, Religion and the State in American Law (Cambridge University Press, 2015), p. 136 ("The nation's first unofficial motto was 'E pluribus unum' ('Out of many, one'), which was proposed in 1776, adopted in 1782, and to this day is part of the Great Seal of the United States. E plurbius unum first appeared in coinage in 1795 and in 1873 was required on all U.S. coinage...").
  10. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 303 ("The flower commonly known as the rose is the national floral emblem.").
  11. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 304 ("The composition by John Philip Sousa entitled 'The Stars and Stripes Forever' is the national march.").
  12. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 305 ("The tree genus Quercus, commonly known as the oak tree, is the national tree.").

External links

American Creed

The American Creed is a statement of the defining element of American identity, first formulated by Thomas Jefferson and elaborated by many others, that includes liberty, equality, individualism, populism, and laissez faire.. Not to be confused with Dean Alfange's "An American's Creed".

Annuit cœptis

Annuit cœptis (; in Classical Latin: [ˈannuɪt ˈkoe̯ptiːs]) is one of two mottos on the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States. (The second motto is Novus ordo seclorum; another motto appears on the obverse (front) side of the Great Seal: E pluribus unum.) Taken from the Latin words annuo (third-person singular present or perfect annuit), "to nod" or "to approve", and coeptum (plural coepta), "commencement, undertaking", it is literally translated, "[providence] favors our undertakings" or "[providence] has favored our undertakings" (annuit could be in either the present or perfect tense).

Billy Yank

Billy Yank or Billy Yankee is the personification of the Northern states of the United States, or less generally, the Union during the American Civil War. The latter part of his name is derived from yankee, a slang term for New Englanders. Political cartoonists used Billy Yank and his Confederate counterpart Johnny Reb to symbolize the combatants in the American Civil War of the 1860s.

Billy Yank is usually pictured wearing a regulation Yankee wool uniform that included the fatigue blouse, a light-weight wool coat with an inside pocket and four brass buttons on the front, with a kepi-style forage cap made of wool broadcloth with a rounded, flat top, cotton lining, and leather visor.

Columbia (name)

Columbia (; kə-LUM-bee-ə) is the personification of the United States. It was also a historical name used to describe the Americas and the New World. It has given rise to the names of many persons, places, objects, institutions and companies; for example: Columbia University, the District of Columbia (the national capital of the United States), and the ship Columbia Rediviva, which would give its name to the Columbia River. Images of the Statue of Liberty largely displaced personified Columbia as the female symbol of the United States by around 1920, although Lady Liberty was seen as an aspect of Columbia. The District of Columbia is named after the personification, as is the traditional patriotic hymn "Hail Columbia", which is the official vice presidential anthem of the United States Vice President.

Columbia is a New Latin toponym in use since the 1730s for the Thirteen Colonies. It originated from the name of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus and from the ending -ia, common in Latin names of countries (paralleling Britannia, Gallia, and others).

E pluribus unum

E pluribus unum (; Classical Latin: [ˈeː ˈpluːrɪbʊs ˈuːnũː])—Latin for "Out of many, one" (translated as "One out of many" or "One from many")—is a 13-letter traditional motto of the United States, appearing on the Great Seal along with Annuit cœptis (Latin for "he approves the undertaking [lit. 'things undertaken']") and Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for "New order of the ages"), and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. Never codified by law, E pluribus unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the United States Congress passed an act (H. J. Resolution 396), adopting "In God We Trust" as the official motto.

Five-pointed star

A five-pointed star (☆), geometrically a regular concave decagon, is a common ideogram in modern culture.

Comparatively rare in classical heraldry, it was notably introduced for the flag of the United States in the Flag Act of 1777 and since has become widely used in flags.

It has also become a symbol of fame or "stardom" in Western culture, among other uses.

If the collinear edges are joined together a pentagram is produced.

In God We Trust

"In God We Trust", also written as "In God we trust", is the official motto of the United States of America, Nicaragua, and of the U.S. state of Florida. It was adopted as the United States' motto in 1956 as a replacement of or alternative to the unofficial motto of E pluribus unum, which was adopted when the Great Seal of the United States was created and adopted in 1782.The capitalized form "IN GOD WE TRUST" first appeared on the two-cent piece in 1864 and has appeared on paper currency since 1957. A law passed in a Joint Resolution by the 84th Congress (P.L. 84-140) and approved by President Dwight Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declared "In God We Trust" must appear on American currency. This phrase was first used on paper money in 1957, when it appeared on the one-dollar silver certificate. The first paper currency bearing the phrase entered circulation on October 1, 1957. The 84th Congress later passed legislation (P.L. 84-851), also signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, declaring the phrase to be the national motto.Some groups and people have expressed objections to its use, contending that its religious reference violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. These groups believe the phrase should be removed from currency and public property. In lawsuits, this argument has so far not overcome the interpretational doctrine of accommodationism, which allows government to endorse religious establishments as long as they are all treated equally. According to a 2003 joint poll by USA Today, CNN, and Gallup, 90% of Americans support the inscription "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.In 2006, "In God We Trust" was designated as the motto of the U.S. state of Florida. Its Spanish equivalent, En Dios Confiamos, is the motto of the Republic of Nicaragua.

Join, or Die

Join, or Die. is a political cartoon attributed to Benjamin Franklin. The original publication by the Gazette on May 9, 1754, is the earliest known pictorial representation of colonial union produced by a British colonist in America. It is a woodcut showing a snake cut into eighths, with each segment labeled with the initials of one of the American colonies or regions. New England was represented as one segment, rather than the four colonies it was at that time. Delaware was not listed separately as it was part of Pennsylvania. Georgia, however, was omitted completely. Thus, it has eight segments of a snake rather than the traditional 13 colonies. The two northernmost British American colonies at the time, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, were not represented, nor were any British Caribbean possessions. The cartoon appeared along with Franklin's editorial about the "disunited state" of the colonies, and helped make his point about the importance of colonial unity. It became a symbol of colonial freedom during the American Revolutionary War.

Liberty (goddess)

Liberty is a loose term in English for the goddess or personification of the concept of liberty, and is represented by the Roman Goddess Libertas, by Marianne, the national symbol of France, and by many others.

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is a well-known example in art, a gift from France to the United States.

List of U.S. state, district, and territorial insignia

The following table displays the official flag, seal, and coat of arms of the 50 states, of the federal district, and of the 5 inhabited territories of the United States of America.

Novus ordo seclorum

The phrase Novus ordo seclorum (Latin for "New order of the ages"; English: ; Latin pronunciation: [ˈnowʊs ˈordo seˈklorũ]) is the second of two mottos that appear on the reverse (or back side) of the Great Seal of the United States. (The first motto is Annuit cœptis, literally translated "[He/she/it] has favored our undertakings".) The Great Seal was first designed in 1782, and has been printed on the back of the United States one-dollar bill since 1935. The phrase Novus ordo seclorum is sometimes mistranslated as "New World Order" by people who believe in a conspiracy behind the design.

Phrygian cap

The Phrygian cap or liberty cap is a soft conical cap with the apex bent over, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia, Dacia, and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted (emancipated) slaves of ancient Rome. In artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.

It is used in the coat of arms of certain republics or of republican state institutions in the place where otherwise a crown would be used (in the heraldry of monarchies). It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France's Marianne, are commonly depicted wearing the Phrygian cap. However, the much older Dutch Maiden has been carrying a cap of liberty of very different form, with a wide, flat brim, since the 17th century.

Robert E. Lee (tree)

The Robert E. Lee tree is the second largest giant sequoia in the Grant Grove section of Kings Canyon National Park, and the eleventh largest giant sequoia in the world. Richard Field, a Confederate lieutenant, named this tree around 1875. Wendell Flint and Mike Law measured the tree in 1985 and found its volume to be 40,102 cubic feet (1,135.6 m3).

Rose

A rose is a woody perennial flowering plant of the genus Rosa, in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred species and thousands of cultivars. They form a group of plants that can be erect shrubs, climbing, or trailing, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers vary in size and shape and are usually large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwestern Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and often are fragrant. Roses have acquired cultural significance in many societies. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach seven meters in height. Different species hybridize easily, and this has been used in the development of the wide range of garden roses.

Seal of the United States Senate

The Seal of the United States Senate is the seal officially adopted by the United States Senate to authenticate certain official documents. Its design also sometimes serves as a sign and symbol of the Senate, appearing on its official flag among other places. The current version dates from 1886, and is the third seal design used by the Senate since its inception in 1789. The use of the seal is restricted by federal law and other regulations, and so is used sparingly, to the point that there are alternate, non-official seal designs more commonly seen in public.

The seal has a shield with 13 stars on top and 13 vertical stripes on the bottom, with a scroll inscribed with E pluribus unum floating across the top. An olive branch, symbolizing peace, graces the left side of the shield, while an oak branch, symbolizing strength, is on the right. A red liberty cap above the shield and crossed fasces below the shield represent freedom and authority, respectively. Blue beams of light emanate from the shield. Surrounding the seal is the legend "United States Senate". Several of the elements are derived from the Great Seal of the United States.

Star-Spangled Banner (flag)

The Star-Spangled Banner, or the Great Garrison Flag, was the garrison flag that flew over Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the naval portion of the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Seeing the flag during the battle inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem "Defence of Fort M'Henry", which, retitled with the flag's name from the closing lines of the first stanza and set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven" by John Stafford Smith, later became the national anthem of the United States.

More broadly, a garrison flag is a U.S. Army term for an extra-large national flag that is flown on Sundays, holidays, and special occasions. The U.S. Navy term is "holiday colors".

The Star-Spangled Banner

"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States. The lyrics come from the Defence of Fort M'Henry, a poem written on September 14, 1814, by the then 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by British ships of the Royal Navy in Baltimore Harbor during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key was inspired by the large U.S. flag, with 15 stars and 15 stripes, known as the Star-Spangled Banner, flying triumphantly above the fort during the U.S. victory.

The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "To Anacreon in Heaven" (or "The Anacreontic Song"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it soon became a well-known U.S. patriotic song. With a range of 19 semitones, it is known for being very difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.

Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of U.S. officialdom. "Hail, Columbia" served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen", the United Kingdom's national anthem, also served as a de facto national anthem. Following the War of 1812 and subsequent U.S. wars, other songs emerged to compete for popularity at public events, among them "America the Beautiful", which itself was being considered before 1931, as a candidate to become the national anthem of the United States.

United States national motto

The modern motto of the United States of America, as established in a 1956 law signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is "In God we trust". The phrase first appeared on U.S. coins in 1864.

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