Sunday, August 29, 2010



“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a poster is worth a thousand enlistments.”

So spoke James Montgomery Flagg, the famed World War one-era artist about building up America’s Navy shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Indeed, Flagg knew all about the power of compelling pictures. His famed “I Want You” poster of Uncle Sam urging men to join the Army had incited thousands to enlist in the Great War. More than five million copies of Flagg’s posters were circulated in 1917/18. Millions more would be printed after 7 December 1941.

With visions of mangled warships still fresh in everyone’s mind, a new war cry now resounded throughout the nation - “Remember Pear Harbor!” Posters beseeched, “Join today!” - The Navy wanted 10,000 men to sign up immediately. Three times that number rushed to military recruiting centers - many selecting the U.S. Navy because it had been the principal victim of Japan’s aggression. The poster war had begun anew and was soon to entice hundreds of thousands of young men and women into wearing navy blue.

Yet, naval recruiting was only one aspect of America’s overall war effort. The public needed to be appraised and reminded of what it would take to win the global war thrust upon America’s shoulders. Colorful and impossible to ignore posters were well-proven tools of communication.

The need was to convey brief, important messages and ideas to as large a segment of the population as possible. Soon assisting naval recruiting efforts, as well as similar manpower drives for the other armed services and civilian industry were hundreds of Office of War Information (OWI) government sponsored posters covering a variety of subjects critical to the war effort.

The above article happens to be a very early attempt of my simple attempt at you'll have to excuse the mistakes....which are many....but still I think I conveyed to the reader just how much of an influence 'posters' had on what was needed...and actually what took place in the war effort.

If you'd care to give this one a casual can click on the title: HOW POSTERS HELPED THE NAVY WIN WW II  and this will take you to the article.

Hope you enjoy this "Archived Article" of mine.

Bud Shortridge