Symbolic Political Expression, in 1700s England:

I'm writing an article on symbolic expression and the original meaning of the First Amendment, and in the process -- partly just for color -- I've collected some especially interesting forms of symbolic political expression from that era, chiefly from America but also from Britain.

My colleague Steve Yeazell pointed me to one item yesterday that struck me as particularly amusing (though I suppose it wasn't so amusing at the time): During the customary toasts to the king, some would pass their glass over a water decanter before drinking. This symbolically changed the toast from a toast to the king into a toast to the "king over the water," which is to say the Pretender. Cute.

This in turn led me to this bit of nonsymbolic expression, from John Byrom:

God bless the King, I mean the Faith's Defender;
God bless -- no harm in blessing -- the Pretender;
But who Pretender is, or who is King,
God bless us all -- that's quite another thing.