James Montgomery Flagg Propaganda

Decent Essays

The intention of the illustration “Camouflage” created by James Montgomery Flagg during World War I, was to nurture the burgeoning anti-German sentiment in America. Flagg’s key concept echoes mainstream America’s distrust of the loyalty of German-Americans. The character in the image is outwardly projecting American loyalty, but privately rooting for a German victory. Flagg supports this point by playing on American’s stereotypes of the typical German with a portly body type and, as evident by the man hoisting a lager of beer, a drunkard. The character is also outfitted in traditional German attire and smoking a German pipe. The image is punctuated by the character waving the American flag out the open window while exclaiming “Hoch Der Kaiser,” the German rallying cry meaning “Up with the Kaiser.” However, Flagg is not a credible or reliable source; as a member of the privileged white American middle-class, he’s extremely biased to this representation German-Americans. Additionally, he has no insight to prove the validity of his depiction of German-American feelings and/or actions during WWI. This piece of propaganda was created with the target audience of white Americans. Thus a white American illustrator is inciting a white American audience with stereotypical falsehoods …show more content…

Anyone who didn’t fully support the US war goals were not viewed as loyal. Determination of a person’s loyalty was made by observance of superficial demonstrations of patriotism, thus Flagg’s use of the character’s small gesture of waving an American flag while partaking in mostly German

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