This is the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Park in front of the White House in Washington, DC. Completed by Clark Mills in the 1850’s, it has been part of every President’s view ever since. (The bird is not actually part of the statue.) This is one of several Jackson statues in similar poses. Another is in Jackson Square in New Orleans; a third is in Jacksonville, Florida. In the summer of 2015, the Jacksonville statue was twice the target of protests. Both came shortly after a Jacksonville newspaper columnist called attention to Jackson’s record regarding both slaves and Indians. First protesters hung an Indian mask on the Jacksonville statue; then someone spray-painted “Black Lives Matter” and an apparent reference to a recent police killing.
The Washington statue continues to show a reason Jackson was honored in his time. The base of the statue is inscribed with the words, “Our Federal Union: it must be preserved,” words Jackson spoke as he strained to hold the nation together during a crisis in the 1830’s.