Why is the Republican symbol an elephant?

Answer: The elephant goes back to political cartoons of the mid-to late 1800s.

Mic - In an 1864 ad that celebrated Abraham Lincoln's re-election as president, an elephant is shown under the headline "Victory, Victory!" This image appeared in the pro-Lincoln newspaper Father Abraham.

"Seeing the elephant" was slang among Civil War soldiers for fighting in battle, according to Harper's Weekly. This made the image of a charging elephant reasonable to associate with a wartime political victory for Republicans, the party in power. 

RepublicansOld Glory