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The American icon known as Uncle Sam, who has come to personify the United States, first appeared during the war of 1812, the image we know today came from a number of sources including

1. Brother Jonathan: The original icon representing the States who was depicted in the early 1800’s as a skinny hayseed in a tall beaver hat.

2. Sam “Uncle” Wilson: A supplier of meat to the army in 1812 who marked his barrels of rations to them with “U.S.” and whom the troops said meant they were from their “Uncle Sam.”

3. Abraham Lincoln: While the name came from Sam Wilson, the image mostly came from drawings by Thomas Nast (who also contributed to the creation of the modern depiction of Santa Claus) who used the 16 president as his inspiration. &

4. A famous poster from World War I (“I Want You“) by artist James Montgomery Flagg,

which was inspired by a British poster using Lord Kitchener.

Established in the public’s mind, Uncle Sam has appeared in thousands of political cartoons, posters, comic books (National, Real Life, Uncle Sam Quarterly), and other media as it stands today.

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