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Her Name is Freedom

Statue of Freedom black and white photo with US capitol building behind by Daniel Teafoe Silver Oak Art

This is the bronze Statue of Freedom that stands atop the United States Capitol rotunda facing east to the rising sun. She is 19ft. 6in. and commissioning began in 1855 to American artist Thomas Crawford. Crawford passed away before the plaster cast could shipped from his workshop in Rome, Italy.

When the plaster cast finally arrived to the United States in 1860, Secretary of Defense, Jefferson Davis demanded the Liberty Cap be masked by a feathered headdress. Liberty caps are ancient symbols originally worn by freed slaves in the Greek, Byzantine, and Roman eras, then later evolved into representative symbols for revolutions in France and America.

Shortly after Freedom's plaster arrived, Democrat Jefferson Davis left the Union to lead the Confederate States in our civil war. Confederate States tried to maintain their slave holding and slave selling laws through phallicitical State sovereignty arguments.

The foundry commission went to Clark Mills. His laborers began a strike over wages, so he ordered his slave Philip Reid to complete the Statue of Freedom's casting and assembly. Due to the civil war, Freedom didn't get permanently positioned until 1863.

She functions as a symbol of American liberty above where our two Congressional legislative bodies meet. She is adored with a 13 star crown, her chiton is fastened with a US brooch, in her left hand is a laurel wreath of victory and the shield of the United States, and her right hand holds sheathed sword wrapped in a scarf. She stands on top of a copper pedestal adorned with wreathes and fasces with the inscription E Pluribus Unum (One out of many-Latin). A large copper wiring system runs from her body down into the earth for lightening grounding.

February 1st is National Freedom Day. We might take take pause to contemplate and assess this idea. If we do not have a legal voting system, what freedom do we have?

Photo Credit: Daniel Teafoe at Fine Art America


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