In this vintage American Flag postcard from the early 1900s, the artist expresses the gratitude, with a quote from the famous Daniel Webster, of being American. The original quote by Daniel Webster from a speech given on the completion of the Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843 is:
“In our day and generation let us seek to raise and improve the moral sentiment, so that we may look, not for a degraded, but for an elevated and improved future…. And then, when honored and decrepit age shall lean against the base of this monument, and troops of ingenuous youth shall be gathered round it, and when the one shall speak to the other of its objects, the purposes of its construction, and the great and glorious events with which it is connected, there shall rise from every youthful breast the ejaculation, “Thank God, I — I also — am an American!”
Daniel Webster, a United States Senator and Secretary of State during the 1800’s., was known for his brilliant oratory capabilities and was often quoted at that time this vintage postcard was created, as he still is today.
With the Statue of Liberty beneath the flag, it’s quite possible this image was created by someone who had immigrated to the US and was just very grateful to be here.
The United States of America is built on immigrants, people who came from other countries to escape either religious persecution, racial persecution, or financial hardship, looking to a better life and prosperity here in America. This was true in the beginnings of our recorded history in the 1600s, was true when this postcard was created, and is still true today.
The American Flag is a symbol that stands for freedom. The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France in 1886, to commemorate the friendship established between our two countries during the American Revolutionary War is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.
The following poem by Emma Lazarus is graven on a tablet within the pedestal on which the statue stands:
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land,
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome, her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin-cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she,
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore;
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Enjoy the tribute to American freedom and democracy that this vintage American Flag postcard gratefully shows. The artist proclaims, “Thank God I Am An American” which many of us living in the United States still feel today. It is not that we feel superior, just great gratitude for our freedoms to live where we want, work at what interests us, get the education that we want, and just in general enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness granted by our Constitution. Let us pray that we will always have these freedoms and be that beacon of light for the world.