* 1775-1784 *
George Washington
Revolutionary War Spy Buttons
Robert J. Silverstein

George Washington Spy Buttons

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The Symbol was a Tribute to Prince Edward Stuart

     Back in 2013, I was able to document seven known authentic George Washington Spy buttons which were created to be used in within his spy network during the American Revolution. There appears to be 3 distinct designs. All three styles are attributed to Prince Edward Stuart. The symbol comes from the association of his birth on December 20th 1720 under the Bethlehem Star. The Bonnie represented the Devine Right hand of Kings or Right Hand of God. He was formally associated with this symbol religiously by Pope Cement XI (who ushered all this formally) at the time of his birth. He was seen as the young prince who would provide restitution of the House of Stuart. By having the authority of the Devine Right to Kings, he would be the legitimate heir to the American throne by the way of his restoration to the British Throne. This was viewed as the coming of the future King by Jacobite sympathizers in England and the British colonies in America. One of the two Spy button variants were known to be worn & used during the American revolution. They are photo’d down below being held by my daughter Isabela during a lecture i gave in Bound Brook museum in New Jersey. The Swan Spy button was cut from the jacket of a revolutionary war patriot who was hung for treason in the town square. This Spy button happens to have an unusual fiery red patina to the pewter. The other five Prince Edward Stuart (Bethlehem) Star variants were purchased by H.K.Swan. Harry was able to purchase a card which was contained 5 unused specimens. Harry told me this was in a chest in the attic of a known Revolutionary War Officer’s home in Connecticut.

     The Scottish Regnal Jewel of Scotland Spy button gives tribute to the Old World Catholicism Cross. This gives tribute to James VII & II conversion to catholicism as well as Prince Edward Stuarts religion and connection to the Pope Clemente XI in Rome. After discussing the connection to Prince Edward Stuart with Harry K. Swans, we agreed upon the meaning of the unusual stipple in the center of the button. Under magnification we were able to identify the letter “E” which has the special connotation of the button having a Royal Sovereignty Divinity Mark! This sovereignty symbol “E” can be found on many portraits and relics of Kings starting with Charles the Confessor. This button would not have been worn by anyone of a lower social rank during this era of social class stratification. This button was probably the Receiver of important information provided by other Freemason Revolutionaries. I know have come to believe that there was a hierarchy order in which information passed and the buttons stars provided that. This Jacobite Spy button specimen was dug in New Jersey outside of Philadelphia by Ken Lembo.

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This depiction 1st Appeared on the Merovingian King’s Sarcophagus 7 Dots on a Crown representational of Clovis I Converting to Catholicism in 496



     On both sides of the Atlantic ocean the American Revolution was considered a Scot’s War. Everyone from Jacobite sympathizers in English social clubs in England to Scottish Universities professors who had the ear of Scotland’s Gentry class were trying to bring about a new revolutionary age of Enlightened Ideals. With the Jacobite sympathizers in the British Colonies there was an underground dissatisfaction amongst the Scottish Gentry who controlled a lot of the commercial shipping exports out of America. These hold-out Jacobite Revolutionaries disliked the Hanover Dynasty rule and were at war ever since the 1746 Jacobite uprising. These exiled revolutionaries and their fellow Scot were part of the migration of 40,000 Scots in the 1750’s & 60’s . These were the Scottish Gentry who supported the underground movement in the American British Colonies. As part of their Scot’s War they re-used earlier propaganda by Prince Edward Stuart in his fight for restoration of his House of Stuart. The chosen symbol for their war in America would be one of Divine authority granted by God. Naturally, from their Jacobite Loyalist sympathies they would have chosen a symbol representing Prince Edward Stuart who was born under the Bethlehem Star in 1720, and carried the fight to the House of Hanover years before. So, the George Washington Spy button symbol is re-purposed because it was able to carry both religious Judaeo-Christian connotation and tribute to the Bonnie Prince who fought against the Hanoverians for all the Scots. The Bonnies 5 Petal Rose “Star” which turned into the Patriots Star on their revolutionary war flags would not have been camouflaged to British soldiers or loyalist onlookers. By using a 6 Point Star it was perceived by any onlookers as a religious Judaeo-Christian symbol of God. 

     As a master chessman thinking of his moves in advance, Robert Scot and his Philadelphia Artisans were able to capture the revolutionary cause moment of need and also be able to reuse these core underpinning religious elements of the Judaeo-Christian Star for the New Republic post war. Since, this was in all facets a continuation of the Jacobite’s war which contained religious anti-Catholicism undertones it would have been naturally characteristic to use them in their propaganda war against the British in limited fashions. We can reasonably conclude Robert Scot had the foresight to establish Christianity heraldry prior to any victory in the revolution.

     George Washington was the first to be able utilize the Scottish Royal culture religious symbols in his Spy Network which will later act as an underpin; Hereby creating a Cross Symbol relationship for multi nationalities in the future with their new societal construct of the Grand Architects Design. Knowing that colonists were not ready for this stage of a new era of enlightenment through a new societal construct, Robert Scot and his Philadelphia Artisans skillfully created Allusions cloaked in other known historical propaganda vehicles used by King George I of England, Prince Edward Stuart of Scotland, the Egyptians, and Romans. The George Washington Spy button’s symbol is a reflection of Prince Edward Stuart and his campaign promises under the restoration of the House of Stuart. George Washington was able to re-use these religious symbols as masks which were cloaked as religious stars to deceive the British and American Patriots in their true intended meaning of religious significance to the Scots. 

Robert Scot’s Artisans supplied George Washington with Religious motif buttons for his Spy Network 

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Isabela Holding an early ” Revolutionary War Period ” George Washington American Style Spy Button

This American Style Spy button was Cut Off the Jacket of a Loyalist Spy who was Captured at Queens Bridge.


GW American Spy Button Pewter 17.19mm Orig. Shank intact W/ Knife Mark.

Isabela at the Abraham Staats House where Frederich Von Steuben was Drillmaster at the time of the second Middlebrook encampment of the American Revolutionary War 1778-1779.

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       This picture above was taken years back when I was asked to give a lecture at the Abraham Staats House by Harry K-Swan on George Washington Judaeo-Christian & Inanna Ishtar Spy buttons that were used during the American Revolution. In return for my services, H.K. Swan & his Foundation granted my request to study all their collected George Washington Judaeo-Christian Spy buttons in their possession. So, I was able to grant authenticity by an up-close in-hand examination to the pewter buttons. I was able to photo their collection with a conditional signed release by me I was allowed to review their vast collection of Revolutionary War relics. So, they were gracious enough to bring out their card of five un-used pewter Judaeo-Christian Spy buttons. Part of the arrangement was I would furnish Harry Kehls-Swan a full report in a timely manor after my lecture.

       Harry was most likely looking to understand the Scottish religious aspect of the use of the Judaeo-Christian Star in relation to the spy buttons use of the symbol. So, i submitted a detailed report to Harry and the Swan foundations for review. Afterwards, I insistently asked on several occasions ( probably as a nuance to Harry) to release or sell some of the unused spy buttons into the community of relic collectors. Unfortunately, my request fell on deaf ears. It was my hopes to get at least 2 or 3 into the Public Button Collecting community for enthusiasts of the Revolutionary War period.

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George Washington Spy Button
Judaeo-Christian Symbol

     As of 2013, all but 2 of the known Spy buttons were owned by H.K. Swan, and resided in his private collection out of the publics view as some of his relics are through the Swan foundation. This means if I didn’t show him mine, and give him supporting evidence for his own spy buttons, they would have remained unseen by the public. Thankfully, through my library and the use of my own private photos, I was able to release the first known pictures into the button community and to the general public. Since, that lecture in the Abraham Staats House, I was able to obtain a dug specimen out of Virginia, but there remains a question due to corrosion condition of it’s surface if it is a 100% a Judaeo-Christian Spy button. Since there remains a small shadow of doubt, I have decided to keep the button under wraps until better anti corrosion techniques could be applied. 

     A year later I was only able to view the Spy buttons once more and plea my request at the Crossroads Museum in Bound Brook, N.J., but my request was evaded because I was their to review Revolutionary War Powder horns with the other artifacts that were held in trust by the Swan Foundation. After these two instances, Harry has never displayed or brought out to show in his lectures any of the George Washington Spy buttons. It appears these were the only two instances when I was present that he felt comfortable taking them out into the public. Most likely upon my forceful plea / request of appreciation. Nevertheless, I was called by an esteemed button collector from Rhode Island asking to buy my spy buttons, along with Dale’s graph and my full report to the Swan foundation. I turned down his request because I believe this is a stewardship of responsibility, not something the wealthy should buy for self gratification.

       In conclusion, pertaining to the photo’s above, I was fortunate enough to get a signed picture release from Harry to photograph and then use my own personal photo’s to demonstrate on Isabela’s Library website crediting Harry K.Swan. Becuase of my stubbornness on the Day of Lecture at the Abraham Staats house, the Revolutionary War button community was able for the first time in history to see and understand the why the Judaeo christian Star symbol was chosen. My friend and partner Dale Hawley was gracious enough to illustrate the most significant diagram showing the origin of the American Spy button symbol. We believe it was copied from the sarcophagus of the 1st Merovingian King who converted to Catholicism!

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Isabela holding Six Judaeo-Christian George Washington Spy Buttons

Isabela is the 1st Girl in 235 years to actually hold Authentic George Washington Spy buttons! 

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Harry use to tell me some stories how he thought these men acted like America’s Secret Service by eavesdroping on British Officers.


Harry K. Swan & Me with a Choice Selection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons 

*The Religious Graph above was made by Dale Hawley, as well as appreciative directional observations into the reasoning behind why the Judaeo-Christian star was used.