Patriotic Symbols/ The Statue of Liberty

With July 4th approaching, I want to cover patriotic symbols. I had planned on starting with the American flag and artists who incorporated them in their artwork. However, while working on my previous post, I ran across some cool and timely facts about the Statue of Liberty. So, I decided to start with her instead.

Possible Classroom Concepts:  Social Studies – Patriotic Symbols, Gustav Eiffel, Geography

Possible Art Concepts: Art History – Auguste Bartholdi, Peter Max

Sculpture, Pop Art, Symbols, Paintings, Posters

640px-Statue_of_Liberty_7So, let’s begin with a basic definition of a symbol. A symbol is a visual image, in object or letter form, that stands for a particular concept or thing. A patriotic symbol, in this case, is an image that reminds us of the good ole U.S.A. You will find a good primary level interactive source for teaching this concept here:

For intermediate students, one can find a concise explanation here:

A video about symbols and American symbols can be found here:

So in the middle of last week, I was searching the web, when I noticed that the Google logo had the Statue of Liberty being carried by a boat in place of their second O. (Google often creates doodles and animations incorporated into their logo to commemorate special occasions.) [Note: It just so happens that a logo is another kind symbol.] OK, so back to the subject. I clicked on the logo and discovered that June 17th was the 130th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. You can find the doodle, it’s origin and a world map (highlighting the location of France and the U.S.A.) here:

You can find out more about the transport of the Statue of Liberty with a nice slide show of vintage photos and drawings  here:

Something very impressive about the Statue of Liberty is that it has symbols within its symbol. Check them out here:

The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France to commemorate the aide given the Colonies in the Revolutionary War. What a coincidence that I just blogged about that here:

The Statue of Liberty was sculpted by Auguste Bartholdi. You can read more about him here:

Like modern sculptors of today, Bartholdi needed some help completing such a large sculpture. He needed an engineer to help him design the interior structure. Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower fame, was hired.

Did you know that contemporary Pop artist, Peter Max, helped save the Statue of Liberty? Learn the details in this video:

You can find some examples of Peter Max’s patriotic posters here:

There are numerous ideas out there where students simply copy the Statue of Liberty in one form or another. I like the following idea because the students design and/or create their own symbol and it is a sculpture like the Statue of Liberty.

Happy Fourth of July!


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