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02 October

Who was Uncle Sam?


From History News Network (HNN)…

Sitting in his Manhattan studio on a summer day in 1916, James Montgomery Flagg took off his glasses, looked in the mirror, and saw there the image of America itself. One of the nation’s most successful illustrators, the thirty-nine year-old Flagg was working on a cover drawing for Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper. In the upcoming issue of the magazine, editors planned to urge Americans to expand the country’s military force, in case world events dragged them into the ongoing tragedy that Americans at that point still referred to as the European War.

Flagg was under a tight deadline and short on ideas; he didn’t even have a model in his studio to work with. He had his own reflection–tall and lanky, with piercing blue eyes and wavy hair. In all likelihood, he also had a British military recruiting poster designed by Alfred Leete in 1914.

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