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The myth of "French v. American Revolutions" : the "Phrygian cap"

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"The most important fact about the French Revolution, is the role of the Phrygian cap. The Phrygian cult of Dionysus is the generic term, essentially, or the symbol, for what we call Satanism in civilization since. [...] So, when it came to the time of the French Revolution, the British had already understood this, from an Anglo-Dutch liberal standpoint, which is another form of Satanism. And by their instinct for Satanism—as typified by Francis reBacon, or Hobbes, or Locke, or Mandeville—they applied that to the situation, and said, “How can we create a Phrygian cult of Dionysus, to destroy civilization? To prevent the American Revolution, which was then about overwhelming Europe with optimism. How do we defeat it? We turn men into beasts.” "
From "The Beast-Man Syndrome and The ‘Air Terrorism’ of World War II" (EIR October 31, 2003)


Painting: "Liberté guidant le Peuple", by Eugène Delacroix. This was inspired by the insurrection of July 1830 in Paris, during which the last king of France Charles X was forced to abdicate and was replaced by the 'king of the French' Louis-Philippe.


The symbol of "Marianne" has very ancient origins. On her head, Marianne wears a special cap. This cap was called a "Phrygian cap" or "Cap of Liberty".\\ It is important to note that Phrygia (in Minor Asia) was best known as a source of slaves, and it is believed that as slaves were freed, they would again be able to wear the Phrygian cap of their homeland. This soon became a symbol of emancipated slaves especially in Rome and Greece where it was worn by freed slaves. It showed that they were now Roman citizens and, therefore, were free people. Thus, the cap became a symbol of freedom or liberty.
The Phrygian cap is a sort of cross between a close-fitting cap and a hood, sometimes more one than the other. It was worn by the ancient Greeks, the Scythians, the Gauls, the Franks, the Anglo-Saxons and the French revolutionaries in the late 1700's. Scythian cap was one of the most notable items of ancient Scythian costume. Its link with Phrygia was rather loose. Indeed, it might be related to the "pileus" (Latin) or "pilos" (Greek), a felt cap worn by sailors in Ancient Greece and later copied by Ancient Rome. The pileus was especially associated with the "manumission of slaves" (act of a slave owner freeing their slaves) who wore it upon their liberation. It became emblematic of liberty and freedom from bondage.
During the French Revolution in 1789, the figure of a woman dressed as a warrior wearing the "Cap of Liberty" came to symbolise the idea that freedom was worth fighting for. People adopted the idea of wearing a special hat - the "Cap of Liberty" - to indicate their support for revolutionary ideals of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity (Brotherhood). The revolutionary Cap of Liberty was red and was called the 'red cap'. On 20 june 1792, the king Louis XVI was forced to wear the liberty cap by the crowd who had invaded the palace of Tuileries. In 1793, wearing the Liberty cap was mandatory in the Assemblies of the sections of Paris. Under the Consulate, the capped Liberty was progressively replaced by a helmeted Minerva and the liberty caps were removed from all public monuments. Bonaparte was reported to hate the liberty cap.
The liberty cap is now widely used to cover the head of "Marianne", the feminine allegory of the Republic, whose bust statue ornates all the city halls of France.French painter David shows the battle between the Romans and the Sabines, where many on the Roman side are wearing the liberty cap. This is surely no coincidence, since he painted it in 1799. The cap disappeared from the seal of the Second Republic (1848–1852), but was reestablished as national symbol during the Third Republic (1870–1940). It is still in use as a strong symbol of freedom and republic, and additionnally on the logo of ex-RPR, the neo-gaullist party of J. Chirac.
The poorly led 1798 Irish rebellion by the Society of United Irishmen adopted the Liberty cap as an emblem as well. Such revolutionary symbols carried over into the Latin American revolutions of the 1820s; as the western hemisphere struggled to gain independence from the European colonizers and the early unsatisfactory leaders. The Liberty cap and its symbolism moved south through Mexico and the Caribbean into Central and South America.

The American Revolution and the "Liberty cap":

The iconographical use of the "Liberty cap" predates the French Revolution. It was already used as symbol of Liberty during the American Revolution. In 1675 the Sons of Liberty, a formal underground secret pre revolutionary organization of American Patriots from the 13 colonies, adopted the Liberty Pole and Cap as a symbol of liberty. The Liberty Pole is a pole similar to a flagpole which would fly a flag or be topped with a Phrygian Cap.
During the American Revolution, many soldiers were known to wear red caps embroidered with “Liberty” or “Liberty or Death”. This style of cap was traditional in the North East (having been popular with the French Voyagers) and became immensely popular during the Revolution.
In 1855 a model of an allegorical figure of Justice presented by the sculptor Thomas Crawford for a statue to top the US Capitol Building was depicted with a Liberty Cap. This was rejected by Jefferson Davis, who was then the US Secretary of War, because of the history of the cap being tied to freed slaves. His objections were based on his belief that American freedom was not transferable to slaves held in the United States. The cap was thus redesigned to a helmet with an Iroquois Headdress. Jefferson Davis was later to become the President of the Confederate States.
The Liberty Cap is depicted on the seal of the US Army, the seal of the US Senate, the state flags of Idaho, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia, and on the state seals of Arkansas, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and West Virginia. Several coins and paper currencies have had illustrations of the Liberty Cap and Pole.


As Goebbels pithily observed a few months after Hitler's rise to power, "The year 1789 is hereby erased from history." (Note: 1789 is the year of the French Revolution.)
Source: "The Seduction of Unreason: The Intellectual Romance with Fascism from Nietzsche to Postmodernism" By Richard Wolin, Published by Princeton University Press and copyrighted, © 2004.

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Page last modified on August 31, 2012, at 03:59 PM