Sunday, January 07, 2018

Study of the GOP's Upside Down Stars

By Douglas V. Gibbs
Author, Speaker, Instructor, Radio Host
If one pays close attention, you will notice that the stars on the political logos of the two parties are not the same. Both logos are red on the bottom, blue on the top, and adorned with white stars.  The donkey, for the Democrat Party, has four stars which are right side up, and the elephant for the Republican Party has three stars which are standing on their heads.

According to conspiracy theorists, the inversion of the stars happened just in time for George W. Bush's 2000 run for the presidency, and that the inverted stars are a sign of the Republicans making a contract with the devil.  So, goes the conspiracy, if you want to worship Satan, join the Republican Party.

As devilish as the logo may seem to some, I have always had a feeling that there was a more reasonable explanation.  However, a quick glance in history books and through the internet never seemed to provide an answer.

So, I began to do a deeper search.

Looking through examples in the past, immediately one realizes that 2000 was not when the upside down stars on the GOP logo first appeared.  A number of campaigns, logos, and election buttons prior to the emergence of Bush Jr. portrayed the stars in the upside down manner.  While the reality of the appearance of these examples does not answer the question as to why the stars are upside down, it does explain that whenever they first appeared, it was not in 2000, and had nothing to do with Bush 43.

Way back in 1900, the McKinley/Roosevelt button had the stars upside down on the bottom of the button, but the reason was more likely one regarding aesthetics, than anything.  Artwork on opposite sides of an item are often placed in a mirror fashion, so likely, the upside down stars on the bottom of the button are simply mirroring the right side up stars on the top.

Sure, there are conservatives who consider the very progressive Theodore Roosevelt as being quite an evil president in our past, but the devilishness insinuation of upside down stars was probably not something the campaigners of that era were even considering.

In short, aesthetics were obviously the plan of action when it came to this turn of the century election button.

It has been suggested to me that the stars are upside down because they resemble the stars on a flag that would be flying upside down.  During the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the nation was definitely in distress, and there were political cartoons that displayed the flag upside down during the time period surrounding the War Between the States.  The launching of the Republican Party was during a time of distress, and it was the GOP that had to resolve the chaos.  Is it possible the upside down stars illustrate that early consideration?

It does always seem that the Republicans come to the rescue whenever the country is in distress, so one must consider that the reasoning behind the stars may include that they represent the American Flag being flown upside down.

During the Nixon presidential campaign, while most of the Nixon logos and buttons had the stars on it right side up, there were quite a few that portrayed the stars as they are today on the logo, standing on their heads.

One could say that during presidency of President Richard Nixon, the idea of the country being in a conditions of distress was an understatement.  Opponents of the War in Vietnam often flew their American Flags upside down while protesting the conflict (when they weren't burning them), and when it came to Watergate, the whole leftist establishment went into distress ... and many of them still believe we are in the middle of that time of deception.

In the case of the Nixon button shown here, however, the elephant was a little different, with the red at the top, and the blue encompassing the torso and the trunk of the famous GOP elephant.

That said, historically, there have been a number of GOP elephants and logos for campaigns, and the like, with upside down stars - and these examples dot all kinds of spots along history's calender.

This one refers to the Republican battle against Jimmy Carter,
who was proud of the fact that he was a peanut farmer from Georgia.
As with McKinley's, the upside down stars at the bottom of the blue field
were likely that way for artistic reasons, rather than any message.

This one for Harding goes all the way back to 1920

Here's another Nixon pin button with upside down stars, but this time
the colors of the elephant are consistent with more recent versions.

While that is quite a few of upside down stars spanning a long period of time, during the same span of years there were also many GOP logos that also had the stars right side up . . . though you really don't see too many examples since the millennium unless they were made for smaller, more locally focused groups - but we'll get to the national GOP trademark thing in a moment.

Sometimes either no stars were used, or they were a minor part of the logo or button.  I suppose it was a messaging thing...

And sometimes the Democrats used stars (even upside down ones, sometimes - and sometimes  upside down confederate ones)

As for the Republican Elephant, it's been around for quite a while. It began as a political cartoon smashing forward during the era of Abraham Lincoln. . .

As the mighty elephant established its place among the symbols of the Republican Party, in the beginning, rather than stars, the elephant often was adorned with a banner thrown over it, with the letters G-O-P (for Grand Ol' Party) on it - or, sometimes, other things on the banner to fit the campaign the elephant was parading for.

As for the official logo for the Republican Party, while the elephant, GOP lettering, and stars have adorned the symbolism for the party throughout its history, the elephant with the three upside down stars got its Republican National Committee trademark with full U.S. Trademark Applications and Registrations Retrieval database Trademark No. 1908397 and everything, way back in the nineties (once again, prior to the alleged 2000 Bush deal with the Devil). The current trademark registration was filed in 1993, and registered in 1995. The application cites a first use date in 1969 and includes the rule booklet from the 1972 Republican Convention, complete with upside-down logo stars.

But, we still haven't figured out "why are the stars upside down"?

Let's go back to the banners thrown over the elephants thing.

One suggestion to me has indicated that the field of stars at the top of the current GOP logo represents the banners that used to be draped over the elephants - and in this case, a flag style banner.  One side of the elephant would show the imagery on the banner right side up, but the other side, if the banner was printed as one top to bottom message with all information and imagery positioned in the same up and down manner, would have the images (including the stars) upside down. One will notice that the red zone on the current GOP logo is solid red, so if the field of three stars represents the flag, and the left side of the flag is being shown, and the right side is draped over the elephant to the other side, the stars would indeed look like they were standing on their heads.

Is it simply an attempt at pictorial accuracy?

So, there's our choices.  Either the upside down stars represent the upside down American Flag depicting a nation in distress, or they are the upside down side of a banner or a flag thrown over the elephant's back, or the conspiracy folks are right and the Republicans have made a deal with the Devil, and the upside down stars are upside down pentagrams (but all filled in with color) to celebrate the unholy union.

 One thing is for sure, our history has a long trail of political conflict, and the stars of our glorious flag have been tossed, trampled, flipped and burned.  Historically, enemies of the union tend to turn to the flag as their first line of attack, because they know how precious it is to us.  In the National Anthem the Star Spangled Banner is shot at and explosives are detonated all around it - but despite its position, or how torn and battered she looked, the moral of the story is that our flag was still there.

Personally, I am not one to worry too much about the stars being upside down on the GOP logo.  It could be worse.  The Republicans could resolve to be more like many radical protest groups out there and abandon our colors all together, marching with yellow banners, and red and black costumes.  In other words, whether they are right side up or upside down, I am just happy that the Republican Party continues to have the red white and blue, along with the stars, on their logo in the first place.  The GOP Platform also stands with the flag, and the United States Constitution.  The frustration is usually all about the politicians, and their unwillingness to stand up for the liberty and constitutional principles that the flag stands for, and that the Republican Platform stands for.

Oh, and one more thing about the upside down stars of the GOP Elephant Logo that everyone seems to be so up in arms about.  Did you ever notice how the Medal of Honor stars are also upside down as they hang from their blue ribbons?  Is one to somehow come to the conclusion that there is something sinister about that, too?

Some have told me the upside down stars of the medals were for other reasons, such as that it makes it easier to attach the two legs of the star to the ribbon above if they are at the top.  I suppose there could be some truth to that.

If that was truly the reason, then why wouldn't the bronze and silver stars follow the same construction detail?

I hope this journey through the history of the upside down stars on the Republican Party's elephant logo helped you come to a better conclusion about why the stars are inverted.  Was it done on purpose to send a sinister message?  Was it an artistic decision?  Does it represent the far side of a banner, the left side of a draped flag, or an upside down American Flag to show distress?  Or was there a more nefarious reason behind the decision?

Until someone gives us an official explanation, we will have to continue to ponder and debate it.

Me?  I am on the side of it being a symbol of distress that the GOP has come to resolve.  The draped flag thing makes since to me, too.  Well, there's that, and it could simply be that the Republicans wanted to make their logo stand out a little differently than the Democrat logo.  If the Democrats want to have four right side up stars, then let's have three upside down stars, just for the sake of being different from them.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is clear "W" was , like "O". not Christian. I think calling "W" a Satanist is wrong.