ATTENTION NEW JERSEY
Union County NJ is redesigning its County Seal.
The current seal depicts a British soldier shooting Hannah Caldwell in 1780, a pivotal moment in New Jersey’s Revolutionary War history.
"Whilst the troops were advancing to Connecticut Farms, the rebels fired out of the houses, agreeable to their usual practice, from which circumstance, Mrs. Caldwell had the misfortune to be shot by a random ball. What heightened the singularity of this unhappy Lady’s fate, is that upon inquiry it appears, beyond a Doubt, that the shot was fired by the rebels themselves, as it entered the side of the House from their direction, and lodged in the Wall nearest the Troops then advancing."
Yea, we are not buying it.
Mr. and Mrs. Caldwell were patriots, in support of the cause for freedom. This incident was no doubt an effort to disincentivize the Caldwell's efforts especially considering Mr. Caldwell had a price on his head. It did not stop the cause. It achieved the complete opposite. Hannah's death was a rallying cry. Many young men signed up to fight to avenge her death. At the Battle of Springfield, June 23, 1780, just 16 days after Hannah's death, British and Hessian forces made another attempt to destroy Washington’s camp at Morristown but failed in retreat.
Hannah's death is said to be a turning point in the Revolutionary War
To learn more visit:
Now onto the redesign.
Voting is set to occur this week of April 23, 2023. Visit https://ucnj.org/seal/ for details.
First, I will speak on the lack of options. You must pick between the options provided. There is no space to write in or an option to vote on no redesign at all. This is like most elections, an illusion of choice. If the county seal is to represent not only the county but the people living in it, care should be taken that it is an actual choice supported by its citizens.
Next, let me write about the implications of the redesign. County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados stated,
So a better way to honor this event and her death is to not depict it at all? All but remove her from the seal?
"The fact that our seal contains the brutal murder of Hannah Caldwell could be viewed as insensitive to today's climate, involving awareness of gun violence or violence against women."
One must not conflate awareness for promotion. Surely, an elected official of a mature age understands the difference, yes? Bringing awareness to the sacrifices women have given for our country and our freedom should not be erased.
So which excuse is it?
To me, and many others, this seems like nothing more than an attempt at erasing American history. Specifically American history that helps us remember the bravery and absolute defiance against tyranny. This is effectively erasing women's history, women's contributions and women's sacrifice to our country.
Hannah Caldwell's death was a turning point in the revolutionary war and THAT is why it was chosen to be on the seal. Union County and the State of New Jersey played a huge role in the formation of our country. This fact will never go out of style or become "dated."
Interesting that the redesign barely resembles the old one.
It seems there was in fact, zero intention of keeping any of the previous seal's representation.
Option 1 states, "As a nod to the County’s history and the legacy of the previous seal, the bottom left quadrant features an image of Hannah Caldwell, who became a symbol for the fight for independence after her death."
Really? She is barely recognizable in her little quadrant.
I also find it amusing that the weight of the event has been removed. That being, the brutality of our oppressors at the time. She was shot in her home, unarmed, holding a baby, and her body was raided all because they wanted to deflate the rebel's momentum.
It may seem like an insignificance to some of you but they are slowly chipping away at our collective memory. American history should be depicted in our seals, symbols, flags and art because that is how we remember.
New Jersey don’t let them erase your history!
Contact Union County Commissioners
According to testimony, a squat soldier wearing a red coat left the road, then crossed diagonally to reach the house. Elias (Hannah's Son) was constantly peering out the window at the British soldiers passing by. Abigail (Hannah's maid) had been instructed to keep the boy away from the window, but she could not. So Hannah moved to pull him to safety at the precise moment the soldier approached and fired his musket. Seconds later, Hannah lay dead on her bed. Hannah's dress was then cut open, raided of any valuables and the house burnt to ash.
Attempts were made by the Royalist party to escape the odium of the frightful outrage by pretending that Mrs. Caldwell had been killed by a chance shot.
"While we do not wish to erase history of this important occurrence, the picture on the current seal is not a true depiction of what actually occurred."
It is true that Hannah Caldwell was not shot on her front porch or front lawn, but in her back bedroom, through a window. If historical accuracy was the motivation, then why is the redesign not even remotely depicting the event?
"We believe that as a county there is a much better way we can honor and pay tribute to our rich history and impact of Hannah Caldwell's tragic death."
Email Template to send to all 9 commissioners and Governor Murphy:
Subject: Citizen Request, Union County Seal Redesign
I am writing to you, with concern, over the redesign for the seal of Union County.
<why are you passionate about keeping the seal?>
<why should we not erase New Jersey history?>
<why should we not erase women in history?>
<what do YOU believe the true motivation behind this change is?>
<as a citizen what would you prefer taxes be spent on?>
I implore you to keep the seal the way it is. I hope to have your support in this matter.
<county of residence>, New Jersey Citizen