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The Great War | Image Gallery

Wake Up America!

Watch THE GREAT WAR, a three-night event, on PBS starting Monday, Apr 10 at 9/8c.
James Montgomery Flagg/Library of Congress


After two and a half years of neutrality, the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917. James Montgomery Flagg, who created some of the war's most indelible images, sounded the alarm for all citizens in this poster. Actress Mary Arthur was Flagg's model for Columbia, who is a personification of America and Liberty. She is shown asleep, wearing patriotic stars and stripes and a Phrygian cap—a symbol of freedom since Roman times. While she dozes against a fluted column, another visual reference to Western classical antiquity and civilization, sinister storm clouds gather in the background. (Source: Library of Congress exhibition caption)

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