Columbia (American Minerva) and the Fasces in “Reconstruction” for Equal Rights (1868), Harper’s Weekly | Artist Thomas Nast

Honored to be quoted and referenced in this article. Columbia, and symbols like her, continue to fascinate. America has always had its moments when her citizenry needed to be reminded of her values. Nast employed Columbia effectively. I am less confident her encore in the 21st century would , or could, make the sale .

The American Minervan

Reconstruction” by German-born American political cartoonist, Thomas Nast illustrates the Southern states being brought back into order with the North into the ancient symbol of collective power and fraternity, the fasces, and the nation’s motto, E Pluribus Unum (“Out of Many, One”). The symbolism of Columbia (America) depicted in Thomas Nast’s cartoon illustrations are highly relevant to our current political times. It is in fact, not odd to find the Roman Fasces in American symbolism, and for those who simply define the American Republics, in all its phases (hence from beginning to the present), as Evil, then Oligarchic, or a Fascistic Police (Surveilled) State gnawed out and through by corporations, lobbyists, corrupt politicians, and private banking institutions, the fasces is also a symbol for the People. Thus, it may never be removed, or truly demonized. Columbia can be seen in this Harper’s Weekly cover clutching the Fasces…

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One thought on “Columbia (American Minerva) and the Fasces in “Reconstruction” for Equal Rights (1868), Harper’s Weekly | Artist Thomas Nast”

  1. America or rather the USA. The former is as vague a term, scratch that, vaguer, than “Columbia.” At least the country in South *America* (Colombia) has a 2nd “o” in place of the “u.” But then there is “British Columbia” on the west coast of Canada. Ask many an individual in the Spanish speaking world what “America” is, or look at a map of “America” from over 200 years ago and you will get a far more encompassing definition of that.

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