"Want Action? Join U.S. Marine Corps!" Poster

Physical Description
Four-color print on paper.
Specific History
James Montgomery Flagg, the creator of this poster, was born in New York in 1877. As a child he began to draw and sold his first picture at the age of twelve. Two years later he was contributing to Life magazine and at fifteen was on the staff of the The Judge. Flagg studied at the Art Students League in New York. When he was twenty, he spent a year working in London before moving to France. Flagg was one of America's leading illustrators. His illustrations were in Photoplay, McClure's Magazine, Collier's Weekly, Ladies' Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Saturday Evening Post, and Harper's Weekly. During the World War I Flagg designed forty-six posters for the government. His most famous work is the Uncle Sam poster with the caption "I Want You for the U.S. Army." An adapted version of this poster was also used during the World War II. Flagg died in 1960.
General History
Posters during World War II were designed to instill in people a positive outlook, a sense of patriotism, and confidence. They linked the war in trenches with the war at home. From a practical point, they were used to encourage all Americans to help with the war effort. The posters called on every man, woman, and child to endure the personal sacrifice and domestic adjustments to further the national agenda. They encouraged rationing, conservation, and sacrifice. In addition, the posters were used for recruitment, productivity, and motivation as well as for financing the war effort. The stark, colorful graphic designs elicited strong emotions. The posters played to the fears, frustrations, and faith in freedoms that lingered in people's minds during the war.
date made
Flagg, James Montgomery
Associated Place
United States
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
overall: 40 in x 28 in; 101.6 cm x 71.12 cm
overall: 40 in x 28 in x in; 101.6 cm x 71.12 cm x .0508 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Stephen Williams
related event
World War II
The Great Depression and World War II
World War II
World War II
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Naval
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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