Inward, outward corruption lead to fall of sword of justice

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The south-facing Dike on the Dallas County Courthouse, left, let slip her sword, and it fell to the ground below. No injuries were reported. The north-facing Dike, right, remains fully armed.


The sword of justice has dropped from the hand of one of the figures of Iustitia on the roof of the Dallas County Courthouse, possibly as a sign of corruption and violence done to the rule of law in America.

Iustitia, sometimes called Lady Justice, is an allegorical female figure personifying the moral force in judicial systems. Her usual attributes are a blindfold, a balance and a sword. In Greek myth, Dike (pronounced D. K.), the goddess of justice, was the daughter of Zeus and Themis, the personification of divine order, fairness, law, natural law and custom.

The two figures of Iustitia on the Dallas County Courthouse, one facing north and the other south, bear scales and swords but are not blindfolded.

Although U.S. President Donald J. Trump was judged not guilty Wednesday on two articles of impeachment by the U.S. Senate, the sword in fact fell from the hand of the south-facing figure of Lady Justice sometime before Oct. 22, 2019, when a Dallas County employee located the fallen mock-weapon.

The north-facing figure’s sword appears to be secure but will presumably continue to be subject to corruption and violence done to the rule of law in America.

“The sword on our Lady of Justice on the courthouse actually fell,” said Dallas County Supervisor Mark Hanson, the four-term Republican from Waukee who chaired the board at the time of the fall. “I’m glad someone wasn’t underneath the sword when the sword came down. It came dislodged from up on top. So we have the sword, and the sword is in safekeeping right now.”

The pseudo-sword will eventually be returned to the hand of Iustitia by workers with Galena, Illinois-based Renaissance Restoration Inc., which has performed numerous repairs on the exterior of the 120-year-old courthouse. Water damage to interior walls and spalling on exterior walls are also due for correction.

“There’s stories behind Lady Justice,” Hanson said, “and the fact that for now going on 120 years, darned near, 118 years that that’s probably stood there, and that is where justice is decided in that building. So there’s some symbolism to the statue.”

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