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Symbols of Freedom: Slavery and Resistance Before the Civil War
  • Date: Thursday, June 15, 2023
  • Time: 1:30 pm
  • Location: Virtual

Author Matthew J. Clavin will discuss how American symbols inspired enslaved people and their allies to fight for freedom. In the early United States, anthems, flags, holidays, monuments, and memorials were powerful symbols of an American identity that helped unify a divided people. Symbols of Freedom is the surprising story of how enslaved people and their allies drew inspiration from the language and symbols of American freedom. Interpreting patriotic words, phrases, and iconography literally, they embraced a revolutionary nationalism that not only justified but generated open opposition.

This program and the upcoming Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 Featured Document Presentation is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Boeing Company.