Uncle Sam

Have you ever seen this man?  He is dressed in striped pants, a long tailcoat, a tall  hat covered with stars and stripes, and a beard?  His name is Uncle Sam.  There are many stories about him.  He has become a symbol of the United States.


Samuel Wilson was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, in 1766.  Later he moved to Troy, New York, and started a meatpacking business.  During the war of 1812, Sam supplied meat to the U.S. Army in barrels marked ~ "U.S."  When asked what the initials stood for, one f Wilson's workers said they stood for the meatpacker, Uncle Sam Wilson.  The story gained lots of popularity when printed in a New York City  newspaper.  Soon many things labeled U.S. were being called Uncle Sam.


  Illustrators began drawing Uncle Sam as a symbol of the United States, using the same colors and stars and stripes as the American flag.  In 1869, a famous cartoonist named Thomas Nast gave Uncle Sam a beard.  During World War I, artist James Flagg used Uncle Sam on an army recruiting poster.  On the poster, Uncle Sam points a finger at the person looking at him and says, "I Want You!"

Congress officially recognized Uncle Sam in 1961.


home button, 4th of July, patriotic webpage + stationery graphics + clipart           next button, 4th of July, patriotic webpage + stationery graphics + clipart