Buy Liberty Bonds

Title Buy Liberty Bonds
Creator American Lithographic Company
Date 1918
Format 20 x 30 in
Description Propaganda posters more often than not rely on allegorical figures to capture the imagination of the audience, but in the case of this poster published by the American Lithographic Company we see an actual President who has reached legendary status. The poster consists of a profile bust of Abraham Lincoln in shades of brown to resemble bronze, a material that helps impart credibility and importance. Above the President’s head is the directive “BUY LIBERTY BONDS,” and below is the well-known quotation from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “THAT GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH.” Although the context of the quotation is significantly different from the political situation during WWI, the poster appropriates the image and language of Lincoln in order to frame the conflict as righteous and suggest that purchasing Liberty Bonds is necessary for American survival.
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