Animal Politics: Familiar with Republican elephant and Democratic donkey?
WASHINGTON: Do not be surprise if you see an elephant and a donkey as symbols for the Republicans and the Democrats in political cartoons because the two animals represent them in the United States.
The question is, why?
A Republican elephant was first used like this by an Illinois publication during Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 election campaign – most probably as a symbol of strength, however it is still debated.
Later, it was made popular after a man called Thomas Nast – who was also a Republican – drew it in a cartoon in a magazine in the year 1874.
It is thought, as for the Democratic donkey, it was first used during a US presidential campaign in the year 1828, after the candidate Andrew Jackson used it on his posters only because of a nickname his opponents gave him to mock
Thomas Nast again used the cartoon animal to represent the Democrats and it became a well-liked symbol for the party by the end of the 19th century.