Design for the Verso of the Great Seal of the United States

It’s not that our national symbol—the mighty Bald Eagle himself—was an afterthought. He just sort of popped out during the design-by-committee (well, committees) process of figuring out what our nation’s Great Seal would be. The big names pitched in—Franklin, Jefferson, Adams—but it wasn’t until they wisely let actual heraldry professionals guide the thing that we got some sense put down on paper, and not just a sad mass of “Hey, here’s a bunch of awesome stuff that I like, and I put ‘em all together, and there’s a musket, and some Latin, and explosions!” Seriously, this was the level of creative discourse.

The estimable industrial warehouse that converts scrapped artifacts from American history into comics.

Jon White, Proprietor.

A Note on Sources

The American Scraps Executive Reference Library

Every American Scraps comic strip cites, links-to, and—where possible—displays a preview of its source artifact. These artifacts are all from public-domain, royalty-free sources, and are appropriate for use in the classroom. Most American Scraps sources come from The National Archives And Records Administration (NARA), whose “Today’s Document” feature was the original inspiration, in 2010, for this whole enterprise. (On a personal note, I’m grateful to NARA for the invaluable work they have done, and continue to do.)

For ease of use in the classroom—specifically grades 5–12—American Scraps organizes its material according to UCLA’s National Standards for History Basic Edition (1996), as you can see in those ten “Historical Eras” above. Learn more about the National Center for History in the Schools here.

If you’re a teacher and are using American Scraps in the classroom, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line at jon@americanscraps.com.

A Note on Theft

The original art you see here on American Scraps is copyrighted, and reproduction of it is prohibited without written approval.

In other words, unless I’ve told you otherwise: Don’t save or screenshot these comics for use in your own post, tweet, slideshow, or embed. Don’t “remix” or “aggregate” them. Don’t reproduce them, even in an appreciative way. Don’t sell them. Don’t drop them into a listicle called “15 Comic GIFs That Tell The Story Of American History (And You Won’t Believe #8!)”.

Instead, contact me at jon@americanscraps.com and let’s talk about your idea.

American Scraps, LLC

  • American Scraps, LLC is © 2017 by Jon White.
  • American Scraps, LLC is a registered corporation in the State of Washington. Its federal tax ID number is #81-3646631.
  • Find more work & nonsense at Jon White Studio.
  • Portrait photography by Jeff Carpenter.
  • Made in Seattle. Built on Middleman.