Friday, July 4, 2008


"Out of Many, One"

I like the Great Seal of the United States of America.

The eagle clutches an olive branch with 13 leaves and 13 olives. There are 13 arrows opposite the olive branch and the eagle looks to the olive branch.

There are 13 stripes on the shield and there are 13 stars above the eagles head. But there is one shield and the 13 stars combine to make one.

Of course the 13 is symbolic of the original 13 colonies. The olive branch symbolizes peace and the eagle turning to look at it symbolizes preference for peace but the arrows symbolize preparedness for war. There are several other 13's.

The back of the seal is interesting. Annuit Coeptis means "He Approves Our Undertakings." Novus Ordo Seclorum means "New Order of the Ages." The MDCCLXXVI is 1776.

'The August 20, 1776 report of the first Great Seal Committee describes the seal as "Crest The Eye of Providence in a radiant Triangle whose Glory extends over the Shield and beyond the Figures."'

As you might expect there is some controversy over what some of these symbols mean. Seems more reasonable to me to accept the simpler explanations rather than look towards conspiracy theories.

E PLURIBUS UNUM is not the official motto of the United States. That is "In God We Trust" which was officially adopted in 1956.

I like the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, too:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
And I like the Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key, too:
O! 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?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: 'In God is our trust.'
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Recently I've heard some people that are not proud to be Americans. Several people this year suggested we did not deserve to celebrate.

I don't agree with them but the fact they can say stuff like that also makes me proud to be an American.

My first ancestor on my dad's side that came here arrived in 1738. His son fought in the Revolutionary War. He was murdered after a battle by Tories.

There are a lot of things I love about my country. I am proud to be an American.


~Betsy said...

I'm darn proud to be an American. Those who don't like it here can leave. Let them live in another country and see what they have here. Freedom is a treasure.

¸.•*´)ღ¸.•*´Chris said...

Love it or leave it, I say. Amen, Betsy.