The traditional mascot of the party is the elephant. A political cartoon by Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874, is considered the first important use of the symbol. [ wikipedia.org - cartoon in public domain ]
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. It is often referred to as the Grand Old Party or the GOP. Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. It first came to power in 1860 with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency and presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction.
The party's founding members chose the name "Republican Party" in the mid-1850s in part as an homage to Thomas Jefferson (it was the name initially used by his party). The name echoed the 1776 republican values of civic virtue and opposition to aristocracy and corruption. It is the second-oldest continuing political party in the United States.
The term "Grand Old Party" is a traditional nickname for the Republican Party, and the initialism "G.O.P." (or "GOP") is a commonly used designation. According to the Republican Party, the term "gallant old party" was used in 1875. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known reference to the Republican Party as the "grand old party" came in 1876. The first use of the abbreviation GOP is dated 1884.
[ from wikipedia.org ]
This author's opinion is that the Republican leadership of the nineteenth century chose the elephant mascot because of the elephant's demonstrated outstanding qualities, which in humans, are regarded as virtues.
Shown in column at right:
1936 Presidential Election lapel pin for Landon & Knox.
1940 Presidential Election lapel pin for Wendell Willkie
1956 Presidential Election lapel pin, silver [Dwight Eisenhower]
2008 Republican Convention logo
Modern version of the party's logo which appears on all sorts of advertising.
[ Pins are from author's personal collection ]
|TO >||Culture & Religion||Library Main Page||Elefunteria Navigation||Himandus Home|
|All contents ©2008 Wayne Hepburn unless otherwise noted. Permission is granted to use contents in non-commercial, not for profit, applications and for "fair use" excerpts as provided in current International Copyright Law. No content from this site may be sold by anyone except copyright owner.|