1st 2011
The Statue of Liberty, Memphis-style

Posted under: American history, art, fluff, weirdness

Too bad it’s not a flaming cross, like her original torch!  Now, that would by eye-catching.  (Photo by Dr. M., who has Memphis connections.)


23 Responses to “The Statue of Liberty, Memphis-style”

  1. Perpetua on 01 Sep 2011 at 9:41 am #

    Maybe when Rick Perry/Michelle Bachmann becomes President, ze’ll be inspired by this to change the original statue, too. I always thought that the original was dangerously pagan. Those French!: Hating God Since 1792.

  2. Historiann on 01 Sep 2011 at 11:18 am #

    And hating the Jesuits since 17??

  3. Dr. M on 01 Sep 2011 at 11:31 am #

    The funny thing about this pic is that when I show it to people, even the most progressive, it takes them a minute or two to notice that something is actually wrong with it. It’s almost like a mind trick–so similar in morphology to the original, so culturally familiar with its Christian cultural iconography (What would our highway system be like, particularly in the middle of the country, without those side-of-the-road, towering, tacky odes to The Man?). The shoddy simulacrum gets taken for the real thing.

  4. truffula on 01 Sep 2011 at 11:35 am #

    flaming Huh. My first thought was to wonder if the cross is made of wood. Also, is that a rock dove perched on top?

  5. Dr. M on 01 Sep 2011 at 11:50 am #

    Yeah, the bird is the best part!

  6. koshem bos on 01 Sep 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Do you mean that it is not 1777 now? You must be kidding.

  7. Dr. Koshary on 01 Sep 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    @Dr. M.: Funny, I was creeped out by it instantaneously. The culturally familiar, it would seem, lies in the eye of the beholder.

  8. Dr. M on 01 Sep 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    I believe it is 1777 (or 1677?). And I am becoming more and more convinced every day.

    Glad some people are not fooled by the sleight-of-hand cross. Viva the torch!

  9. truffula on 01 Sep 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    sleight-of-hand cross

    It’s not just the cross. A ten commandments style tablet has replaced Lady Liberty’s rectangular tablet. The laws of god over the laws of men, that’s what it means to make that replacement.

  10. Jaime on 01 Sep 2011 at 6:07 pm #

    I have seen this in person, and it is startling, right at the corner of a busy intersection.

  11. Indyanna on 01 Sep 2011 at 6:17 pm #

    There is an entire wikipaedia page on the hundreds of these knockoff Statchas, which are scattered all over the globe (not with this particular thematic, just replica Liberties). I’ve seen the one on the rock in the middle of the Susquehanna River just above Harrisburg. It is doubtless leading a regiment of white-coated French colonial soldiers down the main seam in an effort to reclaim Fort Duquesne for its rightful stealers.

    I at first thought the one on this post was signalling that the U. of T[ennessee] was going to run the table this fall by bringing prayer back into the huddle, and by running a bunch of “throwback” plays from the 1920s.

  12. Dr. Koshary on 01 Sep 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Damn it, Truffula is absolutely right about the substituted tablets. I’m kicking myself for not noticing that.

  13. Susan on 01 Sep 2011 at 6:41 pm #


  14. arbitrista on 01 Sep 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Sick. Just sick.

  15. Historiann on 01 Sep 2011 at 8:16 pm #

    Well, I kind of like the amended Christian Statue of Liberty as a roadside oddity. (But then, I really like roadside oddities like giant chickens, giant Uncle Sams, giant tin men, cars on top of restaurant signs, etc.)

    Dr. M. has some great photos of a ginormous Jesus emerging from a pond (I think?) on I-75 in Southern Ohio. They’re even more arresting than this one.

  16. Digger on 02 Sep 2011 at 6:04 am #

    The amount of capital (financial and cultural) necessary to build such a thing Creeps. Me. Out.

  17. Liz2 on 02 Sep 2011 at 6:31 am #

    Wait – is the jesus emerging from the pond Touchdown Jesus? That got hit by lightening and completely burned? Us southern Ohio folks just loved Touchdown Jesus.

  18. Historiann on 02 Sep 2011 at 6:33 am #

    Is that what it’s called? Now that you mention it, it sounds familiar.

    (I always thought Touchdown Jesus lived in South Bend, IN.)

  19. Kathie on 02 Sep 2011 at 8:21 am #

    There are two Touchdown Jesus icons, if you can believe that! One is a mural at Notre Dame, the other was a statue in Ohio that was hit by lightning and burned down last year, but will be rebuilt (out of fireproof material I suppose), according to recent news reports –
    Maybe the rebuilding will create a few jobs …

  20. truffula on 02 Sep 2011 at 8:56 am #

    Touchdown Jesus of the Lake looks (looked) as if he is (was) standing on cupcake frosting.

  21. Dr. M on 03 Sep 2011 at 12:17 am #

    The statue is indeed at an intersection. Took it from a grassy mound in front of CVS. And yes, I’ve got some fun photos of Touchdown Jesus! I was fixated with him for a while and attended some services with students. It was chilling. Jesus is a warrior and we all have to make money to give it to the church. The pastors used to be coke dealers (smuggled through horses’ intestines). At one point, the “co-pastor,” Darlene Bishop claimed to have healed her brother from throat cancer through speaking in tongues and such on a book tour, all the while the guy was dying of throat cancer. This is one nutty place. I remember getting a bunch of emails when TD Jesus burned. Some people considered it a sign. A battle sign? To make it fire proof? Even nature can’t take Jesus down.

  22. Kelly on 03 Sep 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Be still the heart of this little American religious historian, who happens to work on religion and Christian nationalism! The image is incredible, and I have to admit that like most other commenters it took me a second to figure out what was going on.

    Also, if it had been a flaming cross, I could use this image in job talks this year to show how RELEVANT my work on the 1920s Klan is to the contemporary period–because there are no politicians who are presidential hopefuls who make my case for the embeddness of Protestant Christianity in the enactment of American nationalism! (please note the delicious sarcasm.)

  23. Jim Crownover on 03 Mar 2013 at 7:10 pm #

    This is Miss Liberty in the Susquehanna River.

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