August 18 was the anniversary of George Washington’s “Letter to the Hebrew Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island”. The letter itself can still be seen on display at Newport’s Touro Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the United States.
Back in 2016, shortly after the U.S. presidential election, I designed a pinback button quoting a phrase from the above letter by George Washington: “For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection, should demean themselves as good citizens.”
The typeface I chose is a font called Trattatello by James Grieshaber (then provided by Apple as a system font). I set the quote against a backdrop image of the U.S. Constitution.
The design has gained a certain following in the intervening years. It’s available in quantity from my Etsy shop (free shipping!), but also on Zazzle as individual buttons and even adapted to magnets and yard signs.
I was recently interviewed by Rabbi Mark Hurvitz as to how these buttons came into existence. For the full story, including a history of the Washington letter, please check out the blog post below.