America’s Two National Goddesses by Barbara Ardinger

I bet almost no one knows this secret: the United States is being watched over by two goddesses! One of them stands on top of the Capitol dome in Washington, D.C. The other stands on an island in New York harbor.

The goddess standing above our congressional building is named Libertas, or Freedom. She’s a Roman civic goddess whose sisters are Concordia and Pax. Although the Romans hardly ever experienced freedom, civic harmony, or peace, they always kept their eyes on the possibilities. Libertas was sometimes merged with Jupiter, sometimes with Feronia, who was originally an Etruscan or Sabine goddess of agriculture or fire. In Rome, Feronia became the goddess of freed slaves. Libertas is shown on Roman coins as a matron in flowing dress and wearing either a wreath of laurel leaves or a tall pilleus, which is called a “liberty cap” and looks like a witch hat…

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