A striking World War I propaganda poster, "Will You Have a Part in Victory? ... 'Every Garden a Munition Plant'" by James Montgomery Flagg, exalting citizens to contribute to the war effort through food conservation and home gardening, issued by the National War Garden Commission in 1918.
Produced during a critical time in American history, this evocative poster was aimed at rallying the nation in support of the war effort. The National War Garden Commission, led by Charles Lathrop Pack, advocated for the cultivation of home gardens to conserve food and resources, thereby indirectly aiding in the fight against the Central Powers. The movement gained momentum, and war gardens became a symbol of unity and patriotism across the United States.
The vivid imagery of this poster, with Columbia—the embodiment of the United States—proudly sowing seeds in a freshly plowed field, emphasizes the importance of self-sufficiency and individual contributions to the greater cause. Clad in the colors of the American flag, Columbia's classical dress and Phrygian cap symbolize freedom and liberty. The bold text "Every Garden a Munition Plant" and the call to action "Will You Have a Part in Victory?" further drive home the message that every citizen plays a vital role in the struggle for victory.
It is worth noting that the artist, James Montgomery Flagg, contributed significantly to the iconography of the United States during this era. His depiction of Uncle Sam in the iconic "I Want YOU" Army recruitment poster, which was adapted from an earlier work featuring the same character, eventually replaced Columbia as a national symbol. This transition underscores the shifting cultural landscape during this tumultuous period in American history.