“Unity is Strength” shako plate, circa 1814-1825. The shako, or helmet, was adorned, on front, with insignia, in this case, “Unity is Strength.” In detail, the plate depicts 13 stars across the top (signifying the original 13 states), which is set in a blast of sun rays; in the center is an eagle, wings spread, that holds lightening in one talon and a wreath in the other (which signifies “war” and “peace”); and at the base of the insignia is the year of our country’s founding, 1776, set in a shield with stripes. Two soldered loops on the back would have been inserted through the leather of the helmet and tied down, within, to hold it in place.
The plate measures approximately 4 1/2″ by 3 5/8″. There is some separation in the plate, in areas such as along the shield, the eagle and the edges.