Boys and Girls!

Title Boys and Girls!
Creator James Montgomery Flagg
Date 1917
Format 20 x 30 in
Description James Montgomery Flagg’s “BOYS and GIRLS!” utilizes patriotic colors and the imagery of Uncle Sam to encourage young children to support the war by buying War Savings Stamps. Of the numerous ways to donate to the war effort, War Savings Stamps were one of the most affordable, costing as little as ten cents. Thus, the poster’s objective is to raise money and instill patriotic values in an impressionable audience—children. The audience informs Flagg’s decision to adorn the children in fine, adult clothing with stoic expressions. The bright red, white, and blue clothing worn by Uncle Sam contrasts the more subdued colors worn by the boy and girl. For precocious children seeking the respect of peers and adults, the poster makes a persuasive claim that purchasing stamps is evidence of maturity. Flagg is perhaps best known for his depiction of Uncle Sam in the iconic “I Want You” poster, and here again we see Flagg’s strategy to attract attention and generate patriotic sentiments through the well-known symbol of Uncle Sam.
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