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Patriotic Symbols, Election Time, Wartime

Red, white and blue are the three most common colors that remind Americans of our heritage and stir patriotic feelings. These wonderful feelings are also stirred by other symbols such as monuments, flags and yes-even bumper stickers!

One of the world’s most recognizable icons is the Statue of Liberty. It is a symbol representing the United States and new freedom that many emigrants experienced when they came to this country. The tall, stately statue was the first and most memorable introduction to the United States as they came through New York harbor. For many Americans it embodies patriotism.

During an election year, Americans are frequently divided into “red” states and “blue” states depending on their political stance. Opinions can split us but our patriotic heritage can serve to unify us. While we are involved in a war and in local elections, (which can feel like a war!) it may be timely for reminders of who we are and where we came from. Emma Lazarus’ poem does this and so does the Statue of Liberty.

The poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus was engraved on a plaque at the base of the statue. In its famous final lines, it says:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Flags are another symbol of American patriotic feeling. Many American’s displayed the red, white and blue of the flag during the dark days after September 11.
The colors were a visible reminder of the freedom that we enjoy in this country. A freedom our forefather’s gave their very lives for. Elections occasionally divide us, but the patriotic feeling which come from the red, white and blue of the flag unite us in a desire for freedom for all.

Often it is just some small reminder of what we enjoy. Imagine your car with a Pride in America Bumper Sticker on the back. Can’t you just feel the patriotism flowing from the red, white and blue? We all know that a bumper sticker is an adhesive tag with a statement or symbol of some sort meant to be attached to the bumper of your car. It is there to be read by the occupants of other vehicles. Bumper stickers can be political, funny, or they can be used to support the troops at war or even your favorite team. They can make you laugh or tick you off, but where did they come from in the first place?

No one has recorded their history, but since they must have a bumper they did not come into existence before the introduction of the car bumper. The Ford Model A introduced in 1927 had bumpers. It seems that the first bumper stickers appeared shortly before World War II; they were flag-like and attached to the bumper by wires. After WWII bumper stickers became useful in political campaigns and elections. Advertisers grasped the concept for commercial purposes and then came the wide application to use them for all kinds of slogans, often just for a laugh. So who’s idea was it to make them “stick”?

The man is Forest P. Gill, a silk screen printer from Kansas City. Gill realized the possibilities of replacing the bumper wire attachment method. He invented the modern bumper sticker which is in use today. His bumper stickers were more practical and their use became more widespread. So, next time you feel tickled, annoyed or the patriotism surge from the red, white and blue bumper stickers, thank Mr. Gill. We can be united by all kinds of things such as monuments, flags and yes-even bumper stickers!

About the Author: Jody Phillips is a web copywriter for American Promotions. Jody likes to read, take walks and be with her family. She and her husband of 28 years are the parents of five children. For more information about gifts and promotional products, please contact
American Promotions' customer service.

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