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division of the blue field and the upper six and a half stripes for the northern flag, and the lower six and a half stripes for the southern flag, the portion of the blue field in each mag to contain the stars to the number of states embraced in each confederacy. The reasons for such divisions are obvious: It prevents all dispute on a claim for the old flag by either confederacy. It is distinctive; for the two cannot be mistaken for each other, either at sea or at a distance on land. Each being a moiety of the old flag, will retain something, at least, of the sacred memories of the past for the sober reflection of each confederacy. And then, if a war with some foreign nation, or combination of nations, should unhappily occur (all wars being unhappy), rinder our treaty of offense and defense the two separate flags, by natural affinity, would clasp fittingly together, and the glorious old flag of the Union, in its entirety, would again be hoisted, once more embracing all the sister states. Would not this division of the old flag thus have a more salutary effect inclining to union? Will there not also be felt a sense of shame when either flag is seen by citizens of either confederacy? Will it not speak to them of the divisions which have separated members of the same household, and will not the why be forced from their lips? Why is the old flag divided? And when once the old time-honored banner, bequeathed to us by our honored ancestors of every state, shall be flung to the breeze in its original integrity, as the rallying-point for a common defense, will not a shout of welcome, going up from the Rio Grande to Maine, and from the Atlantic to the Pacific, rekindle in patriotic hearts in both confederacies a fraternal yearning for the old Union?"
Despite the ingenious conciliation of this plea, neither north nor south was moved to the division asked for. The spirit of the one was shown in the debates at Montgomery above referred to, while that of the north was made apparent all along that bloody pathway that had Sumter for its beginning and Appomattox for its close.
THE SEAL AND ARMS OF THE UNITED
N July 4, 1776, the very day upon which the immortal declara
tion for freedom was made by the congress sitting at Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were appointed a committee to prepare a great seal for the United States of America. Du Simitiere, a French West Indian, a painter of portraits, etc., was called to their assistance, and proposed a device showing on a shield the arms of the nations from whence America was peopled, with a figure of liberty on one side and an American rifleman on the other, for supporters. Dr. Franklin proposed for the device Moses lifting his wand and dividing the Red sea, and Pharaoh and his chariot overwhelmed with the waters. For a motto he suggested the grand words of Cromwell, “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God." Adams proposed “The Choice of Hercules," as engraved by Gribelin: the hero resting on a club; Virtue pointing to her rugged mountain on one hand, and persuading him to ascend; and Sloth, glancing at her flowery paths of pleasure, wantonly reclining on the ground, displaying the charms both of her eloquence and person to seduce him into vice. Jefferson proposed “The Children of Israel in the Wilderness,” led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night; and on the other side “Hengist and Horsa," the Saxon chiefs from whom we claim descent, and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed.
At the request of the other members of the committee, Mr. Jefferson attempted to combine the several ideas in one, and did so in a report that was made to congress on August 10, 1776, but that was not adopted. Other reports were made and various devices proposed, but no action was taken until, on the twentieth of June,
1782, the secretary of the United States, to whom was referred the several reports of committees on the seal, reported a device which was adopted as the great seal of the United States of America. The description thereof can be given as follows:
“Arms. Paleways, of thirteen pieces, argent and gules, a chief azure. The escutcheon on the breast of the American eagle, displayed proper, holding in his dexter talon an olive branch and in his sinister a bundle of thirteen arrows, all proper, and in his beak a scroll, inscribed with this motto, 'E Pluribus Unum.'
“For the crest. Over the head of the eagle, which appears above the escutcheon, a glory, or, breaking through a cloud proper, and surrounding thirteen stars forming a constellation, argent on an azure field.
“Reverse. A pyramid unfinished. In the zenith, an eye in a triangle, surrounded with a glory proper. Over the eye these words, 'Annuit Captis.' On the base of the pyramid the numerical letters, MDCCLXXVI., and underneath the following motto, ‘Norus Ordo Seclorum.''
The interpretation of these devices was given as follows: "The escutcheon is composed of the chief and pale, the two most honorable ordinaries. The thirteen pieces paly represent the several states in the Union, all joined in one-solid, compact, entire-supporting a chief, which unites the whole and represents congress. The motto alludes to the Union. The pales in the arms are kept closely united by the chief, and the chief depends on that Union, and the strength resulting from it, for its support, to denote the Confederacy of the United States of America and the preservation of their union through congress. The colors of these pales and those used in the flag of the United States of America: white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor, and blue, the color of the chief, signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. The olive branch and arrows denote the power of peace and war, which is exclusively vested in congress. The crest or constellation denotes a new state taking its place and rank among other sovereign powers; the escutcheon is borne on the breast of the American eagle, without any other supporters, to denote that the United States of America ought to rely on their own virtue.
“Reverse. The pyramid signifies strength and duration; the eye over it and the motto allude to the many and signal interpositions of Providence in favor of the American cause. The date underneath is that of the Declaration of Independence; and the words under it
signify the beginning of the new American era, which commences from that date."
The mottoes, “Annuit Captis” (“God has favored the undertaking”) and “Novus Ordo Seclorum” (“A new series of ages"), denote that a new order of things had commenced in the western hemisphere. The eye of Providence in a triangle on the reverse of the seal as adopted, and the motto, “E Pluribus Unum," formed a part of the device reported by the committee August 10, 1776. The crest, a radiant constellation of thirteen stars, breaking through a cloud proper, was on the devices and reports of 1779 and 1780. The thirteen red and white stripes on the shield were also then suggested, but placed diagonally. The state of New York had taken the eagle on the crest of its arms more than four years earlier. In the great seal, only the side containing the arms of the Union is used.
It has not been definitely ascertained from whence came the motto, “E Pluribus Unum.” It has been suggested by Dr. Lieber that as at the time of the Revolution the Gentleman's Magazine had a popular circulation in the colonies, the motto may have been adopted from that on the title-page of that serial. The title to the first volume of the magazine for 1731, forty-five years previous to the adoption of the motto on our arms, has the device of a hand grasping a bunch of flowers, and the motto above given.
A writer in Lippincott's Magazine for February, 1868, traces the origin of the motto to a Latin poem ascribed to Virgil. He says: "Perhaps in the minds of those who first chose it to express the peculiar character of our government, it had no definite origin. It may have been manufactured for the occasion. Certainly, when it was first used, in the report of the committee of congress, August 7, 1776, as the epigraph of the public seal, it was a phrase too familiar or too plain to need explanation or authority. But whether remembered, or reinvented on that occasion, almost the exact words occur in a Latin poem called 'Moretum,' ascribed to Virgil, but which is not usually found in his collected works. It is a vivid description of an ancient Italian peasant's morning meal, with incidental suggestions of his mode of life generally. The “Moretum’ is a species of pottage made of herbs and cheese, which, with the help of his servants, he concocts before dawn; he grinds up the various materials with a pestle. Then says the poet.
It matus in gyrum, paullatum