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George Washington

George Washington – "Father of His Country"

Patriæ Pater by Rembrandt Peale (1823) hangs in the U.S. Senate Chamber. George Washington is Patriæ Pater – "Father of His Country." He was known for his love of the land and farming, and his dislike of war.

"Patriot" is derived from pater, the Greek word for father, and is related to other Greek words:

  • patria: fatherland, homeland, native country
  • paterna: of a father, paternal, native
  • patronus: patron, protector
  • patrocinor: to protect, defend, support

Patriots honor the Father of their country and protect their fatherland (homeland). A disregard for America's physical environment is unpatriotic.

"I salute you Gentlemen most Affectionately, and beg leave to remind you, that Liberty, Honor, and Safety are all at stake, and I trust Providence will smile upon our Efforts, and establish us once more, the Inhabitants of a free and happy Country." – General Washington to the Officers and Soldiers of the Pennsylvania Associators, August 8, 1776


Five years after George Washington returned to private life, the new federal Constitution went into effect on July 2, 1788. Then at the beginning of 1789, Washington was elected America's first President. In April, Charles Thomson traveled to Mt. Vernon to escort Washington to New York for his inauguration.

It had been 13 years since Independence was declared in 1776. The first layer of the new American pyramid was now built. The structural foundation of the New Order of the Ages was established.

Early in his presidency, Washington praised this revolutionary beginning and expressed hope for the continuing progress of the American people:

"As mankind become more liberal, they will be more apt to allow, that all those, who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protection of civil government. I ever hope to see America among the foremost nations in examples of justice and liberality." – President Washington to a committee of Roman Catholics (March 1790)

"I rejoice that a spirit of liberality and philanthropy is much more prevalent than it formerly was among the enlightened nations of the earth..." – President Washington to Hebrew Congregations (May 1790)

If patriots are those who listen to and respect the Father of their country, then shouldn't the current federal debate over healthcare consider President Washington's views on the role of civil government to protect its citizens?

What did George Washington say about a "well regulated militia."

Second Image from the top:
"Patriæ Pater" by Rembrandt Peale (1823),
Old U.S. Senate Chamber

Historical content is based on the official history of the Great Seal.
Author and webwright: John D. MacArthur