Monday, May 19, 2014

Uncle Sam

 World War I Uncle Sam recruiting poster
Source : 
Library of Congress

J. M. Flagg's 1917 poster, based on the
original British Lord Kitchener poster
 of three years earlier,was used to recruit
 soldiers for both World War I and World 
War II. Flagg used a modified version of his
 own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran 
Walter Botts provided the pose

Uncle Sam (initials U.S.) is a common national personification of the American government that, according to legend, came into use during the War of 1812 and was supposedly named for Samuel Wilson.The first use of Uncle Sam in literature was in the 1816 allegorical book "The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honor" by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq. An Uncle Sam is mentioned as early as 1775, in the original "Yankee Doodle" lyrics of the Revolutionary War. It is not clear whether this reference is to Uncle Sam as a metaphor for the United States, or to an actual person named Sam. The lyrics as a whole clearly deride the military efforts of the young nation, besieging the British at Boston. The 13th stanza is:
Old Uncle Sam come there to changeSome pancakes and some onions,For 'lasses cakes, to carry homeTo give his wife and young ones.
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