The explicit message of the Great Wall was national defence; safeguarding the borders. Implicitly, it served to define China, invoking the long history of a nation united behind the wall. Throughout its long history the Great Wall was also symbolically repurposed by poets and sloganeers.
h. 46mm w. 44mm 8.0g
h. 37mm w. 35mm 4.1g
h. 50mm w. 48mm 10.8g
This inscription in Mao’s calligraphy is taken from his poem Liupanshan written in October 1935 after the conclusion of the Long March.
“We are not heroes until we reach the Great Wall”
Here the Great Wall signifies the front-line between the Chinese and the Japanese invaders.