The Statue of Liberty represents many things, among them friendship between nations and freedom from oppression. Before air travel, ships would sail into New York Harbor and Lady Liberty would welcome their passengers, many of them being immigrants traveling to the United States for the first time. Lady Liberty is one of the first sites when sailing into the harbor, and she is symbolic of freedom.
Historically, the Statue of Liberty is important because she was given to the U.S. by France to celebrate America’s first 100 years as a nation. It commemorates the alliance between France and the U.S. during the Revolutionary War.
Lady Liberty’s classic stature, face, and attire come from the Roman goddess Libertas, who also represents freedom from tyranny and oppression. The crown is reminiscent of a halo and its spikes show similarities to those of the sun gods–the Roman Apollo, and the Greek Helios. Her right foot is raised as if she is continually on the move, forever bringing freedom to others.
Lady carries enlightenment to the world with the forever-lit torch (Liberty’s original name was Liberty Enlightening the World). Along with tools, the ability to create fire is one of the skills that led to civilization as we know it. Fire is symbolic of knowledge and brings light to the people.