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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Moccasins, 1870sMoccasins, 1870s

A delegation of Plains Indians presented President Ulysses S. Grant with these beaded moccasins during a peace conference in Washington, D.C. Since the nineteenth century, Native Americans have adapted and used the American flag in various ways to symbolize their own relationship to the nation. For the tribal leaders who brought these moccasins to Washington, the flag design may have symbolized allegiance to the United States, a desire for government aid and protection, or an entreaty for peace and land rights for their people. In 1973 Grant's grandson, Chapman Grant, donated the moccasins to the Smithsonian.

See also: Flags, Native American History, Presidential Memorabilia, Shoes

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