Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
Answered 2010-03-20 16:26:39
Donkey and Elephant SymbolsThe Republican elephant was created by cartoonist Thomas Nast and appeared in _Harper's Weekly_, Nov. 7, 1874. Before then, an 1860 issue of _Railsplitter_ and an 1872 _Harper's Weekly_ also had Cartoons connecting Republicans with elephants.

In New York, in 1874, there was a story written as a hoax by the _New York Herald_ saying that the animals of the Central Park Zoo had broken loose and were running wild in Central Park. The same Thomas Nast used the jackass in a cartoon using it to depict the _Herald_. This ultimately shifted to represent the Democratic party and the name changed to donkey.


Just corrected the reference to the initial appearance of the Thomas Nast cartoon in Harper's Weekly - Nov. 7, 1874, not 1974.

From Yahoo:

We've always thought it a little strange that our nation's most prominent political parties are represented by two less-than-majestic animals. There must be a good reason why the Republicans use a pachyderm and the Democrats use an ass so we set out to find it.

We started our search by typing "republican elephant" into the search field. Although we didn't receive any Yahoo! category matches, we did receive 4,710 relevant web pages.

The first search result took us to "Origin Of The Republican Elephant," a web page on the Republican National Committee web site.

According to the site, the symbol of the party was born in the imagination of cartoonist Thomas Nast and first appeared in Harper's Weekly on November 7, 1874. The entire explanation is rather convoluted, but the whole story is outlined in the article.

Interestingly, Nast is also the person credited with gaining wide-spread acceptance of the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic party, although he was not the first to use the symbol.

The Republican National Committee web site provided a stellar answer, so we decided to use its counterpart, The Democratic National Committee web site to find the origin of the donkey. When we arrived at the site, we immediately searched for "donkey" and were presented with a number of pages. We clicked on the first document listed, "The Democratic Donkey," and found some interesting history behind its use.

  • When Andrew Jackson ran for president in 1828, his opponents tried to label him a "jackass" for his populist views and his slogan, "Let the people rule." Jackson turned it to his advantage by using the donkey on his campaign posters.
  • In 1837, the donkey was used in a political cartoon for the first time to represent the Democratic party, again in conjunction with Jackson. Jackson was retired, but still considered himself the party's leader. The cartoon, titled "A Modern Baalim and his Ass," showed Jackson trying to get the donkey to go where he wanted it to go.
  • Twice in the early 1870s, Thomas Nast used the donkey to represent the Democrats. He first used the animal in an 1870 Harper's Weekly cartoon to represent the "Copperhead Press" kicking a dead lion. He later used the donkey to portray what he called "Caesarism" showing the alleged Democratic uneasiness over a possible third term for Ulysses S. Grant. This later cartoon also marked the first use of the Republican elephant.

The donkey and the elephant have become the accepted symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties, even though the Democrats have never officially adopted the donkey as a party symbol. The Republicans, however, have actually adopted the elephant as their official symbol.

User Avatar

Your Answer


Still have questions?

Related Questions

What are the symbols of the political parties?

A donkey and an elephant are current symbols. Donkey for Democrats; Elephant for the Republicans.

What are the symbols for the political parties?

Democrats- Donkey Republicans- Elephant

What are the symbols of the two political parties?

Republicans are represented by an elephant whereas the Democrats are symbolised by a donkey .

What are the symbols of two political parties?

The republican symbol is an elephant and the democratic is a donkey. Hope this helps goodluck ;)

What are the two government symbols for the two parties?

The symbols for the two American political party are, the elephant and the donkey, the elephants represent the Republicans and the donkey represents the Democrats.

When did the political parties choose their symbols?

they chose their symbols at 2000

What is the importance of symbols allotted to the political parties and who allots the symbols?

It is important because in this world there are some poor people also and this symbols will help them to vote for a particular party..

Political parties in the US What are their symbols?


What does the elephant and donkey mean?

The elephant and donkey are symbols of the Republican and Democratic political parties, respectively. The Democratic donkey was first used as a negative comparison against the party, but Democrats used the animal as a strong-willed creature. The Republican elephant is the product of a political cartoon from the 1800s.

What are the symbols of two major parties?

Democrat is a Donkey. Republican is an Elephant.

What are the political parties and symbols in Trinidad and Tobago?


Who created the elephant icon that represents Republican Party?

It's origin as symbols for the parties is attributed to a political cartoonist, Thomas Nast, who used the donkey and the elephant in cartoons drawn for Harper's Weekly in the 1870's.

What is the political symbols of Democrats and republicans?

Donkey for Democrats and Elephant for Republicans

Who was the man who made the symbols for the political parties?

James brown

Who invented the symbols for the leading political parties?

Thomas Nast

Who came up with the symbols for political parties?

Michael Jackson. After he died.

What symbols represent democratic and republican parties?

donkey for the Democratic Party, elephant for the Republican Party

List of major political parties and their symbols in India?

you need to down load from election commissioner.

What is meant by recognised party?

Every party needs to register with the Election Commission. Political party is treated as 'recognized political parties' if parties are engaged in political activity for a continuous period of 5 years. Parties are given unique symbols and some other special privileges.

What are the animal symbols for the two major US political parties?

Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are generally percieved as more conservative, while democrats are more liberal. They often represent 2 different views on political issues, and rarely agree. The animal symbol for the Democrats is the donkey and for the Republicans is the elephant.

What are the two main political parties of the United States and the animal symbols for the parties?

Republican and democrat. Despite the fact that our country is governed by democracy, republicans still hold positions of political power. Republicans are generally percieved as more conservative, while democrats make changes more often. They often represent 2 different views on political issues, and rarely agree.The animal symbol for the Democrat is the donkey and for the Republican is the elephant.

What are the symbols of the 3 political parties in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines?

ULP-star NDP-key SVGGP-telephone

What symbols are used by british political parties?

the rose(the national flower) the oak tree(for streng and dove(for peace)

Why is the Republican Party represented by an elephant?

Because the elephant never forgets. :)Thomas Nast created a cartoon in 1874 depicting the Republican "vote" as being a foolish elephant being scared by a donkey wrapped in a lion's skin. Over time thesesymbols became the identifiers for the two main parties. The elephant for Republicans and the donkey for the Democrats.

What do their symbols mean to the political parties?

I think the elaphent means the GOP's inability to change, the donkey represents the unwillingness to change.