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US poster of black smoke around displayed national flags

Object | Accession Number: 1988.42.21

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    US poster of black smoke around displayed national flags


    Brief Narrative
    US propaganda poster depicting the flags of the world rising triumphantly out of the smoking fires of war as the United Nations. It was issued by the Office of War Information as a symbol of the unity of the Allied forces against their common enemies. On January 1, 1942, representatives of the US, Great Britain, Soviet Union, and China signed the United Nations Declaration, joined the next day by 22 other nations. In this document, the signatory governments pledged to exert the maximum war effort and not to make a separate peace. The United Nations was founded 3 years later. The OWI was created in 1942 to control the design and distribution of war information to the American public and commissioned work, such as this painting, from leading artists.
    Artwork Title
    United Nations Fight for Freedom
    Series Title
    OWI no. 79
    publication/distribution:  1943
    publication: Washington (D.C.)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of David and Zelda Silberman
    front, top, white : UNITED
    front, bottom, yellow ink : THE UNITED NATIONS FIGHT FOR FREEDOM
    front, left, on tank, blue : LESLIE RAGAN
    front, bottom left corner, blue ink : OWI POSTER No. 79. Additional copies may be obtained upon request from the Division of Public Inquiries, Office of War Information, Washington, D.C.
    front, bottom right corner, blue ink : ✩ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1943 - 0-534058
    Artist: Leslie Ragan
    Printer: United States Government Printing Office
    Distributor: United States Office of War Information
    The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was created on June 13, 1942, to centralize and control the content and production of government information and propaganda about the war. It coordinated the release of war news for domestic use, and using posters along with radio broadcasts, worked to promote patriotism, warn about foreign spies, and recruit women into war work. The office also established an overseas branch, which launched a large-scale information and propaganda campaign abroad. The government appealed to the public through popular culture and more than a quarter of a billion dollars' worth of advertising was donated during the first three years of the National Defense Savings Program. Victory in Europe was declared on May 8, 1945, and in Japan on September 2, 1945. The OWI ceased operation in September.

    Physical Details

    War propaganda
    Physical Description
    Offset color lithographic poster depicting a battle with several tanks, ships, and planes against a background of yellow and orange flames forming towering black clouds of black smoke. Appearing through the smoke are the colorful, waving flags of the Allied countries and member nations of the United Nations. There is text at the top and bottom. On the back is printed postal information and the paper has fold creases.
    overall: Height: 28.000 inches (71.12 cm) | Width: 20.000 inches (50.8 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Corporate Name
    United Nations

    Administrative Notes

    The poster was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988 by David and Zelda Silberman.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 15:32:23
    This page:

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