R I S E   T O   T H E   R E S C U E
|     INTRODUCTION     |     THE 'BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY'     |     A TRIBUTE TO OLD VIRGINIA     |     ENDORSEMENTS     |


VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY  -  CAMPAIGN 2011

A TRIBUTE TO OLD VIRGINIA

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T H E   T R U E   I S S U
Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA), Aug. 01, 1837, Volume XXXIV, Issue 25, Page 3. 

"At no time, since the independence of this country, have patriotism and devotion to principles been so rare as public virtues, and so much exigency, as in the present condition of our Federal concerns.  General principles are abandoned, which heretofore were entertained, merely to gratify ambition and sinister designs.  Men who heretofore were steadfast to a literal construction of the Federal Constitution, and most zealous against implied powers, are now exerting their talents and influence, to prove that almost any power can be assumed by the Federal Government by implication.  Men of distinguished abilities have unblushingly changed their opinions and principles, to suit circumstances and political movements.  When these things happen, we consider the fundamental principles upon which our public institutions are founded, to be in extreme danger, unless the sturdy friends of the country and of equal rights, rise to the rescue, and withdraw from the changelings and political weathercocks of the day, the power, the influence, and the means to effect ruin of our Democratic principles, by destroying the integrity of the Federal Constitution."

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OUR  SYMBOL  OF  MORAL  COURAGE

The Great Seal of Virginia
Adopted on July 5, 1776
 
  OBVERSE:

      MORAL COURAGE TRIUMPHS OVER TYRANNY

               SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS
               "May our moral courage always triumph over tyranny."

  REVERSE:

      THE BLESSINGS OF FREEDOM AND PEACE

               DEUS NOBIS HĂC OTIA FECIT
               "May God grant us the blessings of freedom and peace ... "

               PERSERVANDO
               " ... by our perseverance."

On learning that the Declaration of Independence had been adopted by the Continental Congress, the Virginia convention immediately approved a new seal for the commonwealth.

It was decided that the seal should capture the country's general feeling of moral courage, and that this feeling would be best symbolized by incorporating the visage of Virtus (one of the tutelary geniuses of ancient Rome; her defining attribute was courage), robed in the drapery of an Amazon, resting one hand upon her lance, and holding, in her other hand, a sword.

Tyranny was to also be represented on the seal, symbolized by the figure of a prostate man, lying upon the ground, being held in check, under the foot of Virtus.  The man would have near him a crown, fallen from his head, and bearing in one hand a broken chain, and in the other a scourge.

It may be interesting to consider some of the symbolism here, for history had certainly taught our founding generation that, in government, tyranny usually manifests itself in one of three forms:

   (1)  An excessive
executive power, as typified by the crown.
         
The crown, a sign of absolute authority, symbolizing a form of rule that is distinctively authoritarian, in type.

   (2)  An excessive
legislative power, as typified by the chain.
         
The chain, an instrument of bondage, symbolizing a form of law that is distinctively oppressive, in type.

   (3)  An excessive
judicial power, as typified by the scourge.
         
The scourge, an instrument of punishment; symbolizing a judicial system that is both corrupt and domineering, in type.

This image, therefore, seems to represent a foreshadowing of the separation of powers — a concept that would later be ratified in the Federal Constitution — where it was determined that the power of government, which is so easily subject to abuse, would be placed in different hands, in such a way that the possibilities of abuse would be placed in check through that distribution of power.

And so, the image that was placed upon the great seal of Virginia reminds us of this fundamental safeguard against tyranny, but perhaps even more importantly, it also calls attention to that age old spirit of moral courage.  It's a feeling that was so very common among those men of the old "seventy-sixer" generation, and it's one that we must, once again, conjure up, by God's enabling grace.


May our moral courage always triumph over tyranny.

May God continue to grant us the blessings of freedom and peace, by our perseverance.

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V i r g i n i a    L e g i s l a t u r e

F E D E R A L   R E L A T I O N
Richmond Enquirer (Richmond, VA), Feb. 09, 1833, Volume XXIX, Issue 88, Page 2.

An excerpt from the speech of  MR. GILMER, of Albemarle, delivered in Committee of the Whole.

"We may breathe for a time under the blighting shadow of a splendid, national, consolidated government; but, sir, it will be to us and our posterity the calm of despotism.  Virginia will be Virginia no longer.  She may, indeed, retain her place on that map; her rivers may continue to rail to the ocean; and her mountains may lift their eternal summits to the skies; but her spirit will be gone, and she will tamely crouch under the rod of tyrants.  When we yield this principle of State Sovereignty, let us strike our proud motto from our arms, for the broken chain and the dagger, her sic semper tyrannis, and all the recollections of her ancient glory, will only remain as sad memorials of her degradation.  To live under such a government is not the liberty I desire.  I would rather have a crust of bread and a cup of cold water in a wilderness, where I was free, than to tread the halls of palaces, and be a slave."

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Authorized and paid for by Joe Glean, candidate for Delegate.
Not Authorized by any other candidate.

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