Liberty Banner, 1790s

Grade Range: K-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts
Date Posted: 4/16/2018

This rare silk banner was probably carried in a public parade in Philadelphia in the mid to late 1790s. Its elaborate design suggests the importance of such festivals, which provided a place for many Americans, voters and non-voters, to express patriotic sentiments or partisan views on current events.

The banner, mostly likely made by women, is embroidered on both sides, so that it could be viewed as it was carried down the street or hung from a prominent building. The Liberty figure here wears a Grecian garment, carries a pole with a “liberty cap” on it, and nourishes the American eagle—all while standing triumphant over the fallen crown and broken chains of monarchy.