The Jacobite Liberty Button
The first recorded use of the Phrygian Cap would be by the Egyptian culture 3000 to 300 B.C. when the religious and mathematical scholars protested against the Pharaoh by wearing a Phrygian Cap. Semi-paralleling around 100-44B.C., the Roman Republic’s Senate transformed and integrated the Phrygian Cap into a political statement with a standing pole in their revolt against Caesars tyrannical rule. Then in a struggle for power between Hanover’s German decent George I of England and James II of Scotland it was re-introduced. Then in the mid 1740’s, (the incorporation of these two symbols 1st time) was re-used by Prince Edward Stuart of Scotland back at the Hanoverians of England. The Bonnie “Re-purposed” the propaganda but changed the use of the context for House of Stuart Jacobites against the British Royal families stranglehold on positions of power. The Bonnie Prince Charlie’s context would be the proper one to reflect where America borrowed this propaganda context of revolt. A relative of the House of Stuart John Morin Scott who was a founder of the Sons of Liberty and A Brigadier General for George Washington “Re-purposed” the propaganda statement again to the same oppressors and staked the 1st Phrygian Cap and Liberty Pole in the City of New York. This re-purposed propaganda of the Phrygian Cap & Pole transformed into the Liberty Cap & Pole which turned into a popular form of “expression” by the citizenry for 10 years. Disgruntled citizens with the Proclamation of 1763, the Sugar Act of 1764, and the Stamp Act 1765 would purposefully stake wooden Liberty Poles in the ground throughout the colonies as a political statement for more then 10 years. This originated with the British Stamp Act in 1765, and lasted throughout the American Revolution.
1789, New Nation Tribute Button (GWI 26)
The Transfer of the Liberty Cap & Pole
Propaganda symbols to America
In this paragraph, i am going to give evidence of the historically unpublicized connection of exiled Scottish Clan families into the grass-roots of the American Patriots Cause. I think it is important to examine the “Flash-Point” of how American Patriots began to use the Egyptian Phrygian Cap and Roman Liberty Pole.
U.S. History claims that John Morin Scott (who was one of the founders of the Sons of Liberty, and A Brigadier General for George Washington) was the First one to have staked a wooden Liberty Cap & Pole in the City of New York in 1765. This came in response with the introduction of the British Stamp Act. John Morin Scott’s family descends from Sir John Scott, Baronet of Ancrum, the Roxburghshire in Scotland. Meaning, his family would be one of the exiled Scottish Clan families who where placed out of power by the British (Hanoverian) Royal family. We can reasonably assume Scott’s family Clan ties to indirectly to the Bonnie Prince (House of Stuart). I believe as a founding member of the Sons of Liberty, John Morin Scot was able to harness the dynamics of the Prince Edward Stuarts earlier use of these propaganda symbols symbols in-order to restart a campaign to restore Scottish family power in the Colonies. Here lies the infusion of Scottish known Propaganda Symbols abasing the British early on in the Patriot Cause. Supportive Colonial newspaper accounts and re-circulated stories in English newspapers (on both sides of the Atlantic) state that disgruntled citizens would continually stake Liberty Poles in town squares as a political statements, along with other rebellion publicized events against British governance and tax policies happened for more then 10 years. The liberty poles were periodically destroyed by the Royal authorities, but they were quickly replaced with new ones by members of the Sons of Liberty in the City of New York, and Boston.
My Draft Notes from 2014:
18th Century French Liberty Cap
To put the Liberty Cap & Pole in the proper chronological order of historical usage: The Egyptian Scholars provided the Phrygian Cap’s 1st use. The super scholars placed it upon their heads to show their dissatisfaction of the Pharaohs not allowing their builders to have the proper math and science knowledge. Then years later, the Roman Senate introduced the Liberty Pole and combine this with the Cap’s symbolism to revolt against Cesars Tyrannical Rule. The pole reflected the Senate’s willingness to take a stand. Centuries later, Prince Edward Stuart (The Bonnie Prince) of Scotland revitalized the Liberty Pole & Cap against the British Hanover family. He printed a semblance of Royalty holding the Liberty Cap on a Pole. These propaganda leaflets were made and distributed in-order to sway public opinion in favor of the restoring the power House of Stuart and their family allies. From this mid 1740’s forward, the Scottish family factions out of power in Scotland & England would use these incorporated symbols in other European nations, and American Colonies.
In America, the Liberty Cap & Pole was revitalized by the Scottish aristocrats through John Morin Scott (A relative of Scotland’s Prince Edward Stuart), and the Sons of Liberty. J. Scott is recognized for the first person to supplant a Liberty Cap & Pole in the City of New York as a propaganda statement prior to the revolution. Reutilizing the positive dynamics of the Liberty Cap & Pole in the American Colonies, the Scottish families who were exiled in France (through Scottish-Rite Masonry who supported the American revolution) re-used these same historical propaganda symbols for the French Revolution in the early 1790’s. Then later again in history about a century afterward, the Argentina’s citizenry used the liberty cap and pole for their independence. So, we see a metamorphic and transformational change in the symbols themselves. Each re-use of these symbols by the oppressed citizenry adds a new dynamic. This is cultivated by the propaganda artist to customize to their series of historical (causes) events.
Argentina’s Republic use of Liberty Cap Buttons for Revolutionary Propaganda
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