Statue of Liberty in popular culture

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After its unveiling in 1886, the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World) quickly became iconic, and began to be featured on countless posters, and in pictures and books. The statue's likeness has also appeared in motion pictures, television programs, music videos, and video games, and its likeness has been used in logos, on commemorative coins, and in theatrical productions. It remains a popular local, national, and international political symbol of freedom.

Books and stories[edit]

Statue of Diana
  • A 1911 O. Henry story relates a fanciful conversation between "Mrs. Liberty" and another statue;[1] "The Lady Higher Up" relates a fanciful dialog between the statue and the then-famous Statue of Diana at Madison Square Garden. In the story, Diana asks "Mrs. Liberty" why she speaks with what Diana terms a "City Hall brogue." Liberty answers: "If ye'd studied the history of art in its foreign complications ye'd not need to ask. If ye wasn't so light-headed and giddy ye'd know that I was made by a Dago and presented to the American people on behalf of the French Government for the purpose of welcomin' Irish immigrants into the Dutch city of New York."[1]
  • In Amerika by Franz Kafka, the author inaccurately depicts the statue as holding aloft a sword rather than a torch.
  • During the 1940s and 1950s, the iconography of science fiction in the United States was filled with images of ancient, decayed Statues of Liberty, set in the distant future. The covers of famous pulp magazines such as Amazing Stories and Astounding Science Fiction all featured Lady Liberty at one time, surrounded by ruins or by the sediments of the ages, as curious aliens or representatives of advanced or degenerate humans of the future gazed upon her remains. The February 1941 cover of Astounding showed a primitive man and woman approaching on a raft a Statue of Liberty surrounded by wild growth.
  • In the final scene of Maggie-Now (1958) by Betty Smith, two characters scatter Maggie's late husband's ashes from the statue's torch.
  • Jack Finney's 1970 novel Time and Again takes advantage of the presence, in 1882, of just the arm and torch of the statue in Madison Square Park – where they were exhibited to help raise funds for the pedestal – for an important plot development.
  • The final chapter of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach (1981) reveals that "The Glow-worm became the light inside the torch on the Statue of Liberty, and thus saved a grateful City from having to pay a huge electricity bill every year."
  • Ellen Kushner's 1986 Choose Your Own Adventure book Statue of Liberty Adventure has the protagonist exploring the statue to find its original inspiration.
  • In the disaster novels Her Name Will Be Faith[2] and Category 7: The Biggest Storm in History,[3] hurricanes cause storm surges that topple the statue into the Hudson River.
  • In the first volume of the Southern Victory series How Few Remain (1997) by Harry Turtledove, the Statue of Liberty does not exist in New York City, as relations between the United States and France are poor. This is due to France supporting the Confederate States in the War of Succession and the Second Mexican War. However, Liberty Island is taken up by a similar but more grim-looking statue called "The Statue of Remembrance", given to the US by Germany. This statue carries a sword in its right hand and a shield in its left. Its full name is Remembrance, holding aloft her bared sword.
  • Nevada Barr's 1999 mystery novel Liberty Falling is set on Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and features deaths caused by falling from the Statue of Liberty.
  • The history of the Statue of Liberty is told in the 2008 book Lady Liberty: A Biography., written by Doreen Rapppaport, illustrated by Matt Tavares.
  • Giannina Braschi's dramatic novel United States of Banana (2011) takes place after the September 11, 2001 attacks, at the Statue of Liberty, where a political prisoner from Puerto Rico is trapped in the dungeon of liberty beneath the 11-pointed star that serves as the base of the Statue.
  • The 1999 children's book Disasters by Ned Halley has an illustration of a future New York City behind a seawall, to prevent flooding by sea level rise because of global warming. Liberty Island is seen submerged in the ocean up to the top of the statue's pedestal.[4]
  • The 1996 children's book Incredible Comparisons by Russell Ash uses the statue throughout the book as a height and weight comparison. It is mentioned on one page that if the sea level rose because all the world's ice melted (possibly due to global warming), that the statue would be submerged in the ocean up to the bottom of her torch.[5] This scenario was later depicted in the 2001 sci-fi movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
The Statue of Liberty is on the reverse of all Presidential $1 coins
SMS Sankt Georg commemorative coin showing the Statue of Liberty

Coins and currency[edit]

Comics[edit]

  • In a 1970s issue of DC Comics' Wonder Woman, villainous sorcerer Felix Faust turns the Statue of Liberty into a living enemy of the Princess.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures issue "Something Fishy Goes Down", Shredder tries to destroy the Statue of Liberty.[7]
  • The DC Comics superhero Miss America was originally granted her powers by the Statue in a vision. This was later retconned to have been a dream; she had really gained her powers from an experiment.
  • In the Marvel Comics universe, the torch of the Statue of Liberty is the secret meeting spot between superheroes Spider-Man and his friend and confidant Human Torch.
  • The cover[8] of the fourth volume of the comic series Universal War One depicts a shattered shell of the Statue of Liberty to represent the destruction of Earth by the Colonization Industrial Companies.
  • In the Sinfest webcomic "Lady Liberty", a humanized version of the Statue, is the spouse of a similarly humanized Uncle Sam. Owing to their iconic status as embodiments of current America, while Uncle Sam is shown as often worried, affected by financial woes and bouts of depression, Lady Liberty is shown as a quiet, nurturing and loving spouse, doing her best to help her husband around, but still prone to overreaction.

Films[edit]

Logos[edit]

  • The US Army 77th Sustainment Brigade, originally the 77th Infantry Division, has used a gold Statue of Liberty on a blue background as its shoulder patch, since its activation for World War I from draftees and recruits mostly from the New York City area.
  • In March 2011, Nike SB released a two-layer sneaker featuring the Statue of Liberty logo on the tongue. When skated, the sneaker turns the oxidized color (seagreen) back to copper.[13]
  • New York and New Jersey have both featured the statue on license plates. The statue was on the regular New York plate from 1986 until 2001. A New Jersey speciality plate[14] celebrating Liberty State Park has been available for many years and is still available as of 2005.
  • The Central Railroad of New Jersey used the national monument as its logo. Its main station, Communipaw Terminal, is located on Upper New York Bay nearby.
  • The Japanese entertainment company Amuse has a replica of the Statue of Liberty above the word "Amuse" as its logo.
  • The mission flight patch worn by the crew of STS-51-J (the debut launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis) has the Statue of Liberty embossed on it.
  • The statue appears in the logo of the insurance company Liberty Mutual. A series of television commercials for the company began in 2013 which show the statue in the background, with each commercial being shot from a different angle from places in New York City and New Jersey.

Music videos[edit]

Joseph Pennell, That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth (1918)
  • The Statue of Liberty was featured in the music video for "Walk Like An Egyptian" by The Bangles, walking like an egyptian.

Political symbolism[edit]

Pranks[edit]

  • In 1978, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Jim Mallon and Leon Varjian of the "Pail and Shovel Party" won election by promising to give campus issues "the seriousness they deserve." In 1979 (and again in 1980), they created their own version of the Planet of the Apes scene by erecting replicas of the torch and the top of the head on the frozen surface of Lake Mendota, creating a fanciful suggestion that the entire statue was standing on the bottom of the lake.[23][24]

Sports[edit]

Television[edit]

Theme parks[edit]

Typography[edit]

  • The statue has its own Unicode character: 🗽

Video games[edit]

Visual arts[edit]

As damaged and destroyed[edit]

As a famous landmark, damage and destruction of the statue has been used to symbolize the end of mankind or the destruction of New York City. The table below lists some examples of movies which feature the statue damaged or destroyed.

There have been questions raised about how the statue would hold up for thousands of years, based on her current corrosion patterns. Studies done during various repairs in the past hundred years show that the copper "skin" of the statue herself will hold up, but her insides may not.[32] The copper has aged and chemically changed to create a patina, which on metal is a coating of various chemical compounds such as oxides, carbonates, sulfides, or sulfates formed on the surface during exposure to atmospheric elements. It is this patina that gives the statue her sea-green coloring, due to the oxidation of the copper. It also means that the statue's deterioration by seawater and winds is greatly slowed. The only thing that still poses a threat to the patina is acid rain, which has the power to corrode the surface.

The joints holding the statue together have withstood some damage by seawater, and have been periodically replaced or repaired. The greatest damage comes in the form of a weakening to the arm holding up the torch, one of the areas of the statue that supports the most weight over a relatively small area.[33] This arm weakness was most recently repaired in the mid-1980s. The torch that the statue holds was also replaced then, because the original torch had been irrevocably damaged by water and snow seeping in through the windows. The old torch now sits in the Statue of Liberty Museum. The stone at Liberty's feet has also needed repair in the past. Fifty years after the statue was first erected, in 1937, it was discovered that water was leaking in to the pedestal that the statue stands upon. A giant copper apron (250 ft. tall) was placed over the pedestal to prevent future damage. Overall, the majority of the statue would likely survive the test of time if an apocalyptic event happened on Earth, as it does in many of the following movies.

Media chart[edit]

Year Media Description
1933 Deluge The statue is hit by a tsunami.
1959 The World, the Flesh, and the Devil The statue is seen in a deserted Manhattan.
1968 Planet of the Apes Thousands of years in the future, the statue is seen decayed and half-buried in sand. Astronaut Taylor sees it and realizes he has time-traveled and has been on Earth the whole time.
1970 Beneath the Planet of the Apes The half-buried statue is again seen at the beginning of the film.
1979 Meteor A meteor fragment passes by the statue and hits Manhattan.
1981 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Episodes 1 and 3 In Episode 1 (the pilot episode), after the Vogons have destroyed the Earth, the Statue of Liberty can be briefly seen inside a storage room in their spaceship. The production notes commentary on the DVD states that the statue was abducted from Earth, possibly moments before its destruction, because the Vogons like to keep souvenirs from the planets they demolish. In an Episode 3 animation sequence, the statue is seen being destroyed in a nuclear war, with the ruins resembling Joseph Pennell's iconic 1918 World War I recruiting poster.
1981 Escape from New York The statue's head is seen decapitated and in the streets of New York City on the poster. However, it is intact in the film, with Liberty Island being a security headquarters after Manhattan has been turned into a giant maximum-security prison.
1983 2019, After the Fall of New York The statue is seen abandoned and derelict on Liberty Island.
1985 National Lampoon's European Vacation The Griswold family, returning to the United States from their vacation to Europe, sees the Statue of Liberty from their plane. Clark accidentally opens the cockpit door while searching for a bathroom, bumps the pilot, and causes the plane to hit the statue's torch, damaging it by knocking it upside down.
1987 Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Nuclear Man lifts the Statue of Liberty from her pedestal and hurls her towards Metropolis. Superman catches and re-attaches her to her pedestal.
1989 The Abyss Special Edition The statue is seen when the aliens create massive worldwide megatsunamis to demonstrate their water control as a warning to humanity. She is incorrectly depicted facing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge.
1995 Batman Forever During the film's opening sequence, Batman chases Two-Face in a helicopter until it crashes into the head of the statue, heavily damaging its face. The statue, notably different from its real-life counterpart, has a Gothic design, the word "Gotham" imprinted on its crown, and in place of the torch is a rotating light similar to a lighthouse. Liberty Island also appears to be submerged in the ocean up to the top of the pedestal.[34]
1995 Judge Dredd In the future, after the Earth has suffered massive damage, the statue is seen in the middle of Mega-City 1 and its new base is the location of the confidential Janus laboratories. The statue is shown in a derelict state, with a massive hole in the left side of her forehead.
1996 Independence Day The statue is first seen after a satellite crashes into the aliens' arriving mothership and the camera points at her tablet to indicate July IV, Independence Day. The statue is also seen being covered in the shadow of an alien destroyer that arrives in New York City. After the aliens destroy New York City, the statue is seen toppled into the river.
1997 The Fifth Element In this futuristic thriller, the statue can be briefly spotted as the spacecraft takes off over New York Harbor. The sea level has lowered drastically so that Liberty Island is now connected directly to the mainland. The statue also has a new pedestal, roughly five times its present height.
1998 Deep Impact The statue is toppled by a megatsunami created by a comet impact. The severed head is later seen in the now-submerged streets of New York City.
1998 Earthquake in New York[35] In this made-for-TV movie, the statue is damaged by an earthquake.
1999 Aftershock: Earthquake in New York The pedestal collapses during an earthquake, causing the statue to topple. At the end of the film, it is shown being rebuilt.
2000 The Busy World of Richard Scarry episode "The Big Apple Christmas Caper"[36] The statue is depicted as an anthropomorphic pig. A villian piloting a blimp with a giant magnet attached to it uses it to rip the crown and torch off, along with many other pieces of New York City, like skyscraper spires and vehicles. After the villain's plan is foiled, the torch and crown fall into the streets of the city. Later, in an error of continuity, the torch and crown are shown to have fallen on top of skyscrapers, and the spire of the Chrysler Building is shown to have fallen onto the head of the statue, which makes it look like it has a new crown.
2001 A.I. Artificial Intelligence The statue is seen submerged in the ocean up to the bottom of the torch due to sea level rise because of global warming.
2004 The Day After Tomorrow The statue is hit by a massive storm surge, submerging her in the ocean up to her thigh, and is later shown to have frozen due to climate change. One of the famous posters for the film showed the statue submerged up to her nose and incorrectly facing west toward New Jersey, with the New York skyline to her right.[37]
2004 Godzilla: Final Wars The statue is seen destroyed after Rodan destroys New York City.
2005 Category 7: The End of the World The statue is hit by a storm surge and destroyed by tornadoes due to global warming. The torch is ripped off by a tornado and thrown into the streets of New York City, almost hitting two storm chasers.
2006 Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut Superman is kicked into the torch of the statue by General Zod, destroying it. The destruction is later reversed when Superman turns back time to repair the damage caused by the three supervillains.
2006 Children of Men In a televised advertisement stating that the whole world, except for Britain, was destroyed due to infertility, the statue is seen being destroyed in a nuclear bomb attack on New York City.
2008 Life After People Season 1 Episode 1 "The Bodies Left Behind" The pilot episode of the series shows the statue slowly deteriorating until about 300 years after the human race ceases to exist. After the 300 years (approx.) have passed, the steel connecting the "skin" of Lady Liberty to the main steel frame begins to fail, causing the torch arm and face to fall into the harbor. The narrator suggests it continues on like this until the entire structure collapses.
2008 Aftermath: Population Zero Similar to Life After People, although the statue is shown deteriorating at a faster rate. Beginning to collapse after 230 years rather than 300, large sections of the statue collapse in stages soon after each other, rather than slowly peeling away as in Life After People.
2008 Cloverfield The statue is decapitated by a giant monster and the head is thrown into the streets of New York City. The decapitated statue is later seen from the Brooklyn Bridge.
2008 NYC: Tornado Terror A tornado forms over the statue, ripping the torch off.
2010 Skyline The statue is seen when the alien destroyer abducts people in New York City.
2012 Iron Sky The statue is destroyed by the Nazis when they invade New York City.
2013 Oblivion The statue is seen buried up to her torch in a canyon sixty years after the destruction of New York City in an alien invasion.[38] In a flashback seen earlier in the film showing New York City before its destruction, the statue can be seen intact from the Empire State Building's observation deck.[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Henry, O., Sixes and Sevens, "The Lady Higher Up." Project Gutenberg text
  2. ^ Marlow, Max (1988). Her Name Will Be Faith. New English Library. ISBN 0-450-50101-9. 
  3. ^ Evans, Bill; Jameson, Marianna (2007). Category 7: The Biggest Storm in History. Tor Books. ISBN 0-7653-5671-6. 
  4. ^ Halley, Ned. “FUTURE DISASTERS/World under Water.” Disasters, 1st ed., Kingfisher, 1999, pp. 50–51. Single Subject References.
  5. ^ Ash, Russell. “Water.” Incredible Comparisons, Viking, 1996, p. 22.
  6. ^ https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/92/2001_NY_Proof.png
  7. ^ "TMNT Adventures #5". TMNT Entity. October 1989. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  8. ^ Bajram, Denis UW1 vol 4
  9. ^ http://www.caps.media/194/6-make-mine-music/full/make-mine-music-disneyscreencaps.com-4959.jpg
  10. ^ http://www.caps.media/194/8-melody-time/full/melody-time-disneyscreencaps.com-4569.jpg
  11. ^ http://caps.pictures/197/7-the-rescuers/full/the-rescuers-disneyscreencaps.com-3277.jpg
  12. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088206/mediaviewer/rm1202195200
  13. ^ http://n-sb.org/10017/statue-of-liberty-qs-at-atlas/news/
  14. ^ http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/cit_plates/lsp.htm
  15. ^ UCSD History Project, Slide: WP-A-29 "Poster: That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth"[1] (512x768 pixel image) Caption: "Poster, "That Liberty Shall Not Perish from the Earth... Buy Liberty Bonds. Fourth Liberty Loan, 1918. The Statue of Liberty has been attacked. The head and arms have been knocked off and lie by the edge of Bedloe's Island as enemy planes fly over New York harbor in a fiery red glow. Joseph Pennell." Citation from the page: "Public domain. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, DC 20540. LC-USZC4-1347. In Walton Rawls, Wake Up America!, 1988, p. 66."
  16. ^ Royal Albert Museum, "That at Liberty Shall Not Perish From The Earth 1918, Joseph Pennell (1857–1926), U.S.A. 103 x 71 cm"[2]
  17. ^ ""Posters American Style: Advice to Americans" (website)". si.edu. 
  18. ^ "LPVA – Libertarian Party of Virginia". www.lpva.com. 
  19. ^ "The Libertarian Party of Maryland". The Libertarian Party of Maryland. 
  20. ^ http://www.libertarian.org.vt.edu/who.php
  21. ^ http://www.lpqc.org/
  22. ^ "German magazine defends cover showing Trump beheading Statue of Liberty". Reuters. 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  23. ^ Lady Liberty on Lake Mendota, pictures of the University of Wisconsin prank
  24. ^ Foss, Cindy (February 16, 2009). "History of Lady Liberty on Lake Mendota". University of Wisconsin–Madison. Retrieved August 17, 2015. 
  25. ^ New York Liberty website, showing Statue of Liberty in logo. Note that the team's mascot is not the statue, but a dog, named Maddie after Madison Square Garden.
  26. ^ Willian Poundstone. (1986). Bigger Secrets. Houghton Mifflin
  27. ^ http://nypost.com/2010/10/31/fringe-goes-over-there/
  28. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lYfYnOeGPg
  29. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDIIpTkRlPE
  30. ^ "The New Moneyed Art". Huffington Post. April 8, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Thenceforward, and Forever Free. (2012)".  Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art Marquette University
  32. ^ Peterson, I. (Jun 29, 1985). "A Statue of a Different Color". Science News. 127 (26): 404. JSTOR 3969749. doi:10.2307/3969749. 
  33. ^ "Reclothing the First Lady of Metals". Copper Development Association Inc. Retrieved January 21, 2015. 
  34. ^ http://caps.pictures/199/5-batman-forever/full/batman-forever-movie-screencaps.com-1234.jpg
  35. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZLdtadMIyQ
  36. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Yq9Ukc_4C0
  37. ^ https://i.jeded.com/i/the-day-after-tomorrow.18733.jpg
  38. ^ http://www.caps.media/201/3-oblivion/full/oblivion-movie-screencaps.com-8837.jpg
  39. ^ http://www.caps.media/201/3-oblivion/full/oblivion-movie-screencaps.com-7938.jpg