Surprise Party Bow Tie
- 100% silk
- Hand printed
- Constructed by hand
- Adjustable from 15 to 18 inches
- 2 inches wide
As the nation’s official record-keeper, the National Archives is proud of its nonpartisan role. Democratic Party? Republican Party? It's important to safeguard all the documents. Regardless of your affiliation, we offer you elephant and donkey bow ties to proudly wear your party pride. Each bow tie is outfitted with a fastener next to the hardware slide that allows you to tie and unhook it while keeping the bow intact. Choose red or blue.
The Democratic Party’s donkey and the Republican Party’s elephant have been on the political scene since the 19th century. The origins of the Democratic donkey can be traced to the 1828 presidential campaign of Andrew Jackson, who ran on a populist platform (by the people, for the people) and used a slogan of “Let the People Rule.” Jackson’s opponents referred to him as a jackass (a donkey). Rather than rejecting the label, Jackson was amused by it and decided to use the image of the strong-willed animal on his campaign posters. In the 1870s, influential political cartoonist Thomas Nast helped popularize the donkey as a symbol for the entire Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, six years after the Republican Party was formed in 1854, Abraham Lincoln became its first member elected to the White House. The earliest connection of the elephant to the Republican Party was an illustration in an 1864 Lincoln presidential campaign newspaper, Father Abraham. It showed an elephant holding a banner and celebrating Union victories. During the Civil War, "seeing the elephant" was slang for engaging in combat, so the elephant was a logical choice to represent successful battles.The pachyderm didn’t start to take hold as a GOP symbol until Thomas Nast used it in an 1874 Harper’s Weekly cartoon. Nast employed the elephant to represent Republicans in additional cartoons during the 1870s, and by 1880, other cartoonists were using the creature to symbolize the party.