This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: ien and was increasingly
portrayed as a typical European woman (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/SAM/home.htm). covers of this era.
Frequent recurrence of the Stars and Stripes accompanied by the American eagle,
despite the different positions and sizes of the various slogans, does not represent a
significant departure from the basic emblem. Symbolic subject encompass American
heroes, male designs, female designs, eagles, flags, and shields. Liberty bells, verses,
Globes, cannons, or hands with flags. Designs of national symbols mostly reveal how
the Union projected itself as the genuine representative and preserver of the ideals of Indian princess Pocahontas went through interesting change when she gradually
transformed to white lady Columbia, named in the honor of Christopher Columbus. Indian
girl Pocahontas was among the first symbols of America, later as Alton Ketchum puts it “her
pigmentation faded and she became Columbia, clad in classic white robes” (Ketchum 20).
Now she guides the American values, “In her other role as the Goddess of Freedom on the top
of the Capitol in Washington” (ibid).
Colonization and the expansion of European civilization into the New World brought the Founding Fathers. (Fabre 223). to America a tradition of male iconography which was representative not of a concept, but of 19 20 a type of individual. Spawned in initially in the New England area, the new American icon Yankee Doodle was the first of these standardized and easy spreading images represented popular opinion -- both at home and abroad -- of the average American citizen. symbolizing America. “Her (Pocahontas’) male counterpart was Yankee Doodle. The brash With the expansion of the printing press and transportation, when the newspapars with the youth in the song riding on a pony”, as characterized by Ketchum (Ketchum 21). information from the Old World to the New and the other way around, the need for a cartoon
When finally Yankee Doodle grew up, after the Revolution, there was no difference between
of average American emerged.
him and Brother Jonathan. “Maturing of Yankee Doodle and his merge into Brother Jonathan
“The expansion of the idea of this myth of the "average" American man was assisted
was to represent “the Growing American nation” (Ketchum 20).
by the advancements in the media which transmitted the symbols. While they were
All these symbolic figures had one thing in common. They were regional
initially transmitted only through oral traditions, songs, and plays, this did not allow
representations, more than the national ones. “Previous symbols, such as Yankee Doodle and
for a standardized concept of the characters like Yankee Doodle and Brother Jonathan,
Brother Jonathan originated and referred specifically to New Englanders. “While foreigners
the foundations of American male symbols”
associated these figures with the nation as a whole, internally they were linked to the North” (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/SAM/home.htm).
(http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/SAM/home.htm). This gap was filled by symbolic figure of
This immage got it standardized picture as well as broad distribution due to the spread of the
printing press. The authors of the Capitol Project continue, that the subsequent result of these
new technologies was a tradition of symbols which were simple both visually and
analytically. The goal of this new kind of symbol was the quick recognition and
comprehension by a wide ranging audience which encompassed with largest possible segment
of the society. This lowest common denominator was much more easily swayed by a simple
and cleverly written cartoon than the most brilliant and complex of speeches
These easy to print and easy to spread images were especially useful, “They also allowed for
the possibility of reaching the illiterate and foreign-born. Democracy had expanded political
power to new groups. It was up to the cartoonist to expend them political understanding”
(http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/SAM/home.htm). 21 22 3. Uncle Sam
The story of Uncle Sam as national symbol begun in the war of 1812, but he was
officially recognized only in 1961.
3.1 The definition in terms of denotation.
Denotation, defined by Jaromir Volek, is the first stage of the creation of the meaning.
It has got it’s referent in external reality (Volek 2). Wendy Lee-Hurwitz defines denotation in
this way, “Denotation refers to the explicit, obvious, straightforward, first meaning of a sign”
(Lee-Hurwitz 27). The term denotation is used in the contrast with the term connotation,
View Full Document