The month of July typically sparks a feeling of patriotism in United States' citizens. Summer has arrived and the country unites to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. People display red, white, and blue decorations in recognition of the heritage of freedoms fought for and won during the Revolutionary War.
In Special Collections, patriotism is evident in the artwork created for posters, nursery and seed trade catalogs, trade magazines, and other historical materials. Various icons, symbols, and colors were used to represent patriotism and freedom.
The female figure of Liberty was the symbol for the United States prior to the Civil War. Below are examples of artistic renditions of her image as it appeared on the cover of Farm Mechanics magazine and the 1919 victory edition of the War Garden Manual produced by the National War Garden Commission.
Uncle Sam has been the symbol for the United States since the Civil War. He is easily recognizable and has become a cultural icon, appearing in cartoons, costumes, government posters, and nursery and seed trade catalogs.
The flag and its colors are strong patriotic symbols that unite people in a time of war or crisis. Much of the artwork on catalog covers and posters during the World War I and II time period include both Liberty and Uncle Sam adorned in clothes with flag designs. The flag colors, specifically in the configuration of stars and stripes, add to the sense of pride in country and unity of people.
Shankle, George Earlie. 1938. State Names, Flags, Seals, Songs, Birds, Flowers, and Other Symbols... New York: H.W. Wilson Co.
Smith, Whitney. 1970. The Flag Book of the United States. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc.
July 2016 calendar page (26mb PDF). 8.5 x 11 and 11 x 17.