George Washington's inauguration as president of the United States inspired the manufacture of commemorative clothing buttons with patriotic designs. On this button, the central device of Washington's initials surrounded by the salute "Long Live the President" is enclosed within a chain of thirteen links representing the states. The "linked states" design was first used to represent American unity on currency issued by the Continental Congress in 1776. The combination of Washington's cipher and the chain of states visually testifies to the importance of a strong executive for the nation's government.

See also the "linked states" design of "A Display of the United States of America," SC-4.


Circular brass button; script monogram "GW" within a circle at the center of the face surrounded by a ring on which is the stamped motto "Long Live the President" followed by a small cross ornament; around the edge of the face is an endless chain of thirteen links, each composed of a dotted line, and each enclosing the initials of one of the thirteen states, with "NH" in the twelve o'clock position; plain edge; blank reverse with wire eye set in metal.


c. 1789-1797



Copper alloy


Overall: 5/16 in. x 1 3/8 in. x 1 3/8 in. (0.79 cm x 3.51 cm x 3.51 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Lewis William Washington, Vice Regent for West Virginia, 1893

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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