Jul 4

Independence Day

American Bi-Centennial
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The Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull (1817-1818)
by John Trumbull (1817-1818)
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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

This tartan was designed in response to an idea put forward by Mr J. C. Thomson in 1974, that there should be an identifying tartan for the American St. Andrews and Caledonian societies. Where the lighter stripes cross each other in the dark blue, there is an effect of the stars of the American flag. The thirteen alternate red and white stripes (representing the original 13 colonies) appear in the full sett of the tartan.

This tartan started life as the American Bi-Centennial but was then modified and the name changed to American St. Andrews Societies.

The Declaration of Independence is the usual name of the statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. 

John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence is a 12-by-18-foot  oil-on-canvas painting in the United States Capitol Rotunda that depicts the presentation of the draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress. It was based on a much smaller version of the same scene, presently held by the Yale University Art Gallery.

Trumbull painted many of the figures in the picture from life and visited Independence Hall as well to depict the chamber where the Second Continental Congress met. The oil-on-canvas work was commissioned in 1817, purchased in 1819, and placed in the rotunda in 1826.

The painting actually shows the five-man drafting committee presenting their draft of the Declaration to the Congress, an event that took place on June 28, 1776, and not the signing of the document, which took place later.

It shows 42 of the 56 signers of the Declaration; Trumbull originally intended to include all 56 signers, but was unable to obtain likenesses for all of them. He also decided to depict several participants in the debate who did not sign the document, including John Dickinson, who declined to sign. Trumbull also had no portrait of Benjamin Harrison V to work with - son Benjamin Harrison VI was said to have resembled his father and was painted instead. 

Thomas Jefferson is often said to be stepping on the foot of John Adams in the painting, which many think is supposed to symbolize their relationship as political enemies. However, upon closer examination of the painting, it can be seen that their feet are merely close together. 

For more details about the the symbolism and individuals depicted, click the painting.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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