This article is about the national personification of the USA. For other uses, see Uncle Sam (disambiguation).
J. M. Flag'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. Flag used a modified version of his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran Walter Botts provided the pose. The face also bears resemblance to the real Samuel Wilson.
Uncle Sam is a common national personification of the American government originally used during the War of 1812. He is depicted as a stern elderly man with white hair and a goatee beard. Typically he is dressed in clothing that recalls the design elements of flag of the United States—for example, a top hat with red and white stripes and white stars on a blue band, and red and white striped trousers. The first use of Uncle Sam in literature was in the 1816 allegorical book The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honorby Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq.
Earlier representative figures of the United States included such beings as "Brother Jonathan," used by Punch magazine. These were overtaken by Uncle Sam somewhere around the time of the Civil War. The female personification "Columbia" has seldom been seen since the 1920's. The well-known "recruitment" image of Uncle Sam was created by James Montgomery Flag, an illustrator and portrait artist best known for commercial art. The image of Uncle Sam was shown publicly for the first time, according to some, in a picture by Flag on the cover of the magazine Leslie's Weekly, on July 6, 1916, with the caption "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?" More than four million copies of this image were printed between 1917 and 1918. The image also was used extensively during World War II.
Very interesting. I wonder how many people know that.