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Don’t Read American History – Make It!

A man in civilian clothes holds a newspaper. The sailor next to him has his hand on the first man’s shoulder. Behind them is a ghostly female figure dressed in the American flag.  Upper left it says “The Navy Needs You Don’t Read American History – Make It!”
Description: Painting, Oil on Canvas; By James Montgomery Flagg; C. 1918; Framed Dimensions 54H X 41W
Accession #: 46-399-A
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Many famous American artists were at the peak of their productivity at the time of World War I and contributed their skill to the war effort.  James Montgomery Flagg became one of the foremost among them after he created the Uncle Sam “I Want You” poster for the U.S. Army.  For Navy recruiting he created this image in which a Sailor encourages a man to stop reading a newspaper and join in the action.  The Navy printed 25,000 of these posters in the first twelve months of the war.

Document Type
  • Art
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War I 1917-1918
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials