Walt Disney was a very patriotic man, proud of and confident in the American spirit. He looked forward to what we could achieve and back at what we had achieved. Disney’s theme parks are filled with homages to that spirit. From the lands within the parks: Main Street USA, Liberty Square, and Frontierland; to the attractions and restaurants they contain: The American Adventure, The Hall of Presidents, the Columbia Harbor House, and the Liberty Tree Tavern.
This is the first post in a new category, Patriotic Disney. I and guest posters will cover all things patriotic about Disney, from Walt himself, to his works, and of course the theme parks. I hope that you enjoy these posts.
Today I’ll be taking about Walt Disney World’s Liberty Tree. You may be familiar with the Liberty Tree Tavern located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, but it’s possible you might have walked right past the Liberty Tree. Many do, in the rush to take in all that WDW has to offer.
Located right in the middle of Liberty Square the tree stands tall and proud. WDW’s Liberty Tree, a southern live oak represents the original Liberty Tree and it’s kin. The original Liberty Tree dates back to Colonial Boston during the very infancy of the American Revolution. During the summer of 1765 in Boston the Sons of Liberty gathered under a large elm tree to protest the British Stamp Act. From that day forward, the tree became known as the “Liberty Tree.” The tree was often decorated with banners and lanterns. A yellow flag was raised within the Tree’s branches to call the Sons of Liberty to meet.
When the news of the Liberty Tree spread local patriots throughout the colonies took up the tradition of meeting under a tree they’d designated as their Liberty Tree. Holding meetings was dangerous as it could mean imprisonment or death, but appearing as a group chatting beneath a tree was how they hid their meetings in plain sight. Our Liberty Trees were a living symbol of popular support for individual liberty and resistance to tyranny.
An Opening Day Feature
During the construction of the Magic kingdom this wonderful live oak was located on Disney property and moved around six miles to become the center piece of Liberty Square. The tree has a plaque at it’s base which reads “The Liberty Tree – Under the boughs of the original Liberty Tree in Boston in 1765, Patriots, calling themselves “The Sons Of Liberty,” gathered to protest the imposition of the Stamp Act. In the years that followed, almost every American town had a Liberty Tree — A Living Symbol Of The American Freedom of Speech and Assembly.”
The next time that you are in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, take just a moment out of your day to stop under the shade of the Liberty Tree and reflect on those who came before and through great sacrifice created this great nation, and on those who continue to defend it today.
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