The Republican Party is referred to as the GOP, which stands for Grand Old Party. Previously known as the Gallant Old Party, the GOP uses the elephant as its party mascot.
The Republican Party formed in 1854 as a result of a split from membership in the Democratic Party. Members who broke away did not believe the Democrats was properly representing their political interests. The new party called themselves Republicans in deference to Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican party, adhering to Jefferson's commitment to the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The nickname did not take hold until 1888 when the Republicans won back the presidency and Congress for the first time since Grant was Ppresident. Following the victory, the Chicago Tribune referred to the Republicans as the Grand Old Party.