What is the Democratic Party Symbol?

The donkey is a well-known symbol of the Democratic Party.
The donkey is a well-known symbol of the Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party Symbol

The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the US. The second major political party is the Republican Party. Andrew Jackson’s supporters founded the Democratic Party in 1828. It is thus the oldest party in the world. Currently, the chairperson of the party is Tom Perez. Founded 189 years ago, the Democratic Party has grown over the years and now has over 80 million members. Andrew Jackson was the first Democrat president to serve Americans. Most recently, President Barack Obama won the presidency through the Democrat Party. The party has its capital in South Capitol in Washington, DC. The symbol used to represent the Democratic Party is a donkey.

Significance Behind the Donkey Symbol

The Democrats did not plan to take up the donkey as its symbol. It only occurred that Andrew Jackson’s enemies twisted his name to read “jackass.” They were mocking him by doing so. Then in 1870, Thomas Nast designed the donkey image in the Harper’s Weekly. Hence, Americans mostly credit Nast for making the symbol popular to them. The Democrats found the symbol appealing since it resonated with most Americans.

Origin of the Donkey Symbol

Andrew Jackson was running for presidency in 1828 when he was nicknamed “jackass” or “donkey” due to his relentless spirit. He believed that power was in the people and kept on singing his slogan “let the people rule”. Much as the donkey symbol was a mockery, Andrew Jackson used the name as a strong campaigning tool; even using the symbol for his campaign posters. When he vetoed the rechartering of the National Bank during his presidency, the donkey was still used to symbolize his stubbornness. When Nast created the donkey cartoon in 1870, he was unaware of its popularity. People began sharing the symbol with each other and eventually the party adopted its use in 1880.

Having a supporter base of over 80 million people, it is safe to say that the people have no problem with the donkey symbol. The Democrats see the donkey as a strong, dignified, and intelligent animal who reflects their ideologies. On the other hand, the Republicans whose party symbol is an elephant abhor the Democrats’ symbol. They regard it as silly, stubborn, and ridiculous.

The Ideologies of Democratic Party

The Democrats supported agrarianism in the era of Andrew Jackson’s presidency. As a result they represented the needs of farmers, labor unions, rural interests, and ethnic and religious minorities. In addition they were on the forefront of opposing unregulated business and finance. They advocate for progressive taxation and environmentalism. The influence of the Democrats is felt more strongly in the major American states such as New York, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco. Among the Democrats, a group of Conservative Democrats has emerged with slightly different ideologies from the national party.

The Democratic Party is a national party with as many as 80 million followers. Their party symbol is the donkey animal which denotes stubborness. In the past, the symbol showed a donkey kicking a dead lion. However , today it is a modernized “kicking donkey.”


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