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A liberty pole could be a sawn post or a simple straight tree sapling with all of the limbs cut off. It would be set up at some public place, such as on the village square or outside of a local tavern. A phrygian cap would be placed on the pole before it was raised, and that defined it as a liberty pole. The phrygian cap was a red conical shaped woven hat with the tip bent forward to almost touch the forehead when worn. The phrygian cap is an ancient Greek symbol of 'liberty'. When a slave was freed ~ given his liberty ~ his head would be shaved and he would be given one of these hats. He was required to wear it at all times as evidence of his freedom. If he was caught without the hat, he could be taken into slavery again. The liberty pole, surmounted by the phrygian cap, became a symbol of liberty and has been used not only by the Patriots during the American Revolutionary War, but by the patriots of the French Revolution.
"Phrygian Cap for Liberty Pole" by Larry D. Smith
Collection of Larry D. Smith
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