I Want You for U.S. Army - Nearest Recruiting Station

Accession Number

I Want You for U.S. Army - Nearest Recruiting Station

James Montgomery Flagg

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
color lithograph on paper

40 3/16 in x 29 15/16 in (102 cm x 76 cm);48 in x 36 in (122 cm x 91.5 cm)

Credit Line
Transfer from the William L. Clements Library

Label copy
This image which was created by James Montgomery Flagg, is probably the most famous of all the American posters of the Great War. Its picture of Uncle Sam pointing directly at the viewer with the simple caption, "I want you!" is a direct demand for everyone's participation, in one form or another, in the total war effort.
In the United States, as in England, during the war years recruitment and war loans were the chief subjects of the poster artist, both of which were part of a propaganda campaign which eventually brought the Americans in on the Allied side. Flagg borrowed the famous pointing finger of Lord Kitchener from the poster designed by Alfred Leete for his Uncle Sam image which appeared on various recruiting posters and liberty loan posters. But Flagg's image of Uncle Sam was used to recruit more than men for active duty: it served to recruit everyone in the aim of total support. The image of Uncle Same created by Flagg has hardly lost is appeal and is even used today as a part of the recruiting propaganda for the United States armed forces.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Text-based Art
modern and contemporary art
top hat

5 Related Resources

World War I Posters from the U.S.
(Part of 5 Learning Collections)
World War I and Society
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Dialogue Deck
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved