Stars and Stripes.
Title:Stars and Stripes.
Publication:The Bradford Observer
Date:May 16th 1861
This abolitionist poem published at the beginning of the American Civil War figures a ‘National Star’ in terms of liberty and democracy, and urges the spirit of this personification of the country to assist the nation in its drive towards freedom for all its subjects. The trope of the pun between the ‘stripes’ of the flag and the ‘stripes’ of marks form slavers’ whips was a common one even before this period. The poem contains interesting references to American educational, religious, and literary figures, and suggests and implicit link between high culture, morality, and political imperatives. – SR