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Did anyone else notice the debate backdrop?

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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-04 05:08 AM
Original message
Did anyone else notice the debate backdrop?
I was going through the Yahoo debate pictures today and the eagle in the background caught my eye. Notice the words on the banner, "The Union and the Constitution Forever."

What? Are we (in the south) supposed to be seceding again any time soon? Don't get me started on the Constitution part. I Google in vain. Can someone please explain the significance of the motto to me, if any? Other than bewildered cognitive dissonance (and why must the eagle be angry rather than calmly regal?) I've got nothing. *blush*




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TaleWgnDg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-04 05:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. oh, hell . . . I thought it was a replication of the Bush v. Gore
debate backdrop, and at that time I thought it was reminiscent of the N.R.A. eagle motto!

. . . . . . .

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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-04 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. found it
It's the obverse inscription on a Civil War presentation sword, here.

The rest of the Google hits I get are for wallpapers, themes, and screensavers.

Hint: Try putting your search phrase in quotation marks. I searched for "The Union and the Constitution Forever" with no period, but with the quotation marks.
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TaleWgnDg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-04 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. you beat me to it . . .
Edited on Sun Oct-03-04 05:37 AM by TaleWgnDg
yup, the saying appears inscribed upon the blade of an officer's Union Army sword.

http://armscollectors.com/mgs/missouri_sword.htm

edited to add: "an angry eagle?" because we are a violent nation! and don't get me started on that topic!
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-04 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
4. It looks like a military eagle, possibly old
Edited on Sun Oct-03-04 05:52 AM by Hekate
I hope someone else really knows, but I'm giving a little kick here.

It's very much like a coat of arms. Here's how I "read" the picture:

The eagle (America) is standing athwart a shield (military device; protection). Its whole posture is aggressive, angry; beak is open (screaming eagle?), eyes are anthropomorphized into a scowl. It holds arrows in its forward talons and an olive branch further back (arrows = military defense at the ready, in use; olive branch = peace, but held in reserve). I don't see any indication of which branch of the service it might belong to; such a reference might be "coded" in there, or this representation might indicate all military might together.

The presentation and appearance of the banner seem "old" to me. Taken together with the motto "The Union and the Constitution Forever" it feels like Civil War era, although it was popular in some parts of the country to refer to the states as "the Union" for several generations after the Civil War.

Here's hoping someone else can come up with something more definitive.

Hekate

on edit: Oops. I take too long to compose my replies! Others have found the answer...
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Samoflange Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-03-04 07:29 AM
Response to Original message
5. It's been around for a while
It was the backdrop for the 2000 and 1996 debates:

1996


2000

Oct. 17, 2000 - Texas Gov. George W. Bush (left) and Vice President Al Gore (seated, right) face off in the third Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis


(sorry if the links don't work, I'm not very savvy with posting pics in forums)

The design and motto looks like it originated during the Civil War era, as the saying "The Union Forever" was a popular sentiment during that time, as the other posters noted with the Union sword.

From what I could find, the 92, 88, 84, 80, and 76 debates only had a solid blue curtain as a backdrop. My guess is that some set designer thought the eagle and motto would look "presidentially governmental" and convey the pomp and circumstance, as well as the historical significance, of what the TV audience was viewing.

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