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The Elevator

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The San Francisco Elevator’s newspaper articles published during 1869-1874 were generally joyous descriptions of Fourth of July festivities. The articles talked about non-segregated activities of towns and businesses, where African Americans mixed with whites, and came together to celebrate the nation's birthday. Many of the articles listed important public figures who took part in the celebrations and their roles in their 4th of July processions. Authors touched on many subjects, which included politics, equality, oppression, and education, explaining what those things meant to African Americans. Every author had a different point of view on those important subjects. They explained what such things meant to the people in their towns, and to African Americans in the country, for it was crucial for their voices to be heard.

The American flag represents many different things among these individuals. For the author of the poem “The Flag” from the June 21, 1873, edition, it represents patriotism, republicanism, and supremacy. The author does not deny the meaning behind the flag, but instead argues that the flag does not represent all American citizens. The author wishes to see the flags of other countries present at the Fourth of July procession because they represent the people who created the foundation of America, whether they are descendants of those people or come from those other countries. Lastly, if the flags of other countries are represented at the procession, then it does not follow that the American flag should be less. Every American citizen should look up to the American flag as supreme, but the other nation’s flags still need to be represented for their history.