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By William H. Benson



The logo for the Broadway musical “1776” features an eaglet inside a broken egg shell, biting down on a flagpole.

The small flag atop the pole shows its colors: red and white stripes, and a blue field in the upper left corner. Across the bottom portion of the egg appears a larger English flag.

The musical begins with John Adams alone in the Pennsylvania State House’s belfry, four floors up, leaning on a massive bell. A messenger approaches and informs him that he must return to the hall.

He races down the steps, walks into the hall where the thirteen colonies’ fifty-plus delegates...

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