"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Originally, the artist planned to dress "Freedom" in a Phrygian cap -- a simple, soft, peaked red hat, also called a "liberty cap." A classical motif, the hat had become such a common symbol of political revolution that it eventually ended up on the official seal of the U.S. Senate.
However, as the informative website of the Architect of the Capitol notes, after Secretary of War Jefferson Davis objected to the sculptor's intention to include a liberty cap, Crawford replaced it with a crested Roman helmet. Why the objection? Because, in the rising abolition movement, the liberty cap had been adopted as a symbol of freed slaves.
Davis, of course, resigned from the Senate in 1861 and accepted appointment as president of the Confederate States of America. In a cruel irony, the complex casting and assembly of the sculpture was overseen by Philip Reid -- a slave at the foundry.
At Obama's swearing-in, the "Statue of Freedom" will gain another level of meaning. Hats off.