chapter  1
28 Pages

The Birth of a National Identity: 1754 1865

POLITICAL CARTOONING is a symbolic art. The symbols are a shorthand, a convenience, not only for the artist but for the viewer as well. To alter the symbols, concluded cartoonist Don Hesse who drew for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, “would be like changing the basic design of the American Flag, the Statue of Liberty, or Orphan Annie for that matter. Everyone has grown to know them all on sight. Since cartoonists strive for simplicity and for ideas unencumbered with labels, they use this cast of characters and eliminate the need for a program to tell the players one from the other.” These symbols have become part of a cherished national heritage.