Illustration of a black and white ship in blue water with figures of people in it and red text along the top outer edge on a white background
DONNELLY/COLT BUTTONS BOX 188 HAMPTON CT 06247 GRAPHIC: FLY PRESS, U.K.
"Ship of State" was originally used in an 1850 poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, praising the strength and flexibility of the American government. The phrase was later used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a note to Winston Churchill in 1941. The phrase today has a similar meaning, and has sometimes been used to question or praise the stability of governments.