James Montgomery Flagg: Side by Side – Britannia! 1918.


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James Montgomery Flagg Side by Side – Britannia! 1918. Uncle Sam is portrayed escorting a young and beautiful Britannia to the top of the hill in an affectionate portrait of the warm relationship between the two countries. American eagle clucks his approval as the smiling British lion lends a festive note to the scene. Flagg the premier American World War I artist.  Rare.  30×20 near mint conservation backed.

Bibliograpy: Walton Rawls Wake Up America!  page 268.

Robert J. Johnson forthcoming magisterial book Your King and Country Need You  comments:

There is something mildly disconcerting about the poster, since it is odd for the ancient and allegorical Britannia to be teamed with a more contemporary and mundane Uncle Sam.  Her American equivalent would be a classically garbed Columbia.  Uncle Sam’s British equivalent would be a more humorous, cartoonish, and human “John Bull”.  Of course, Flagg’s goal is to suggest a traditional heterosexual couple who, despite their difference in age, happily stroll across the landscape arm in arm, an image that would have seemed awkward if not impossible for two figures of the same sex.[1]  In associating the two, Flagg has humanized Britannia, giving her a bit of “sex appeal,” undermining her dignity a little, but emphasizing the friendly and triumphant alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  The democratization of Britannia may reflect the taste of the poster’s American audience, who would have felt little or no discomfort in associating a folksy Uncle Sam with a classical Britannia.  A contented—even smiling—male lion at Britannia’s left and an exuberant bald eagle at Uncle Sam’s right are dignified symbols of their nations while simultaneously displaying the joy of the occasion.