Uncle Sam Plaza in Arlington, Massachusetts

The Samuel “Uncle Sam” statue in Arlington, Massachusetts, honors the man who may have inspired one of the most iconic American symbols. Sam Wilson was a meat packer who supplied the U.S. Army during the War of 1812, had his crates marked with the initials “U.S.” which soldiers jokingly called “Uncle Sam.” This association is said to have led to the bearded, top-hat-wearing figure of Uncle Sam a personification of the American spirit. (Whether this story is actually true is not known for sure.)

The statue, installed during the United States Bicentennial in 1976, depicts Wilson in his later years, an ordinary citizen whose name became synonymous with patriotism, service, and national pride. It stands near Wilson’s birthplace in Arlington, Massachusetts. Next to the statue is a bronze relief with elements from Wilson’s life—a ship, a butcher, a soldier on horseback. Above it all is a traditional depiction of the “Uncle Sam” figure, with a long beard, a top hat, and tails.

This classic depiction of Uncle Sam was popularized by a famous World War I recruitment poster created by J. M. Flagg in 1917. A white-haired Uncle Sam points out at the viewer, with the words “I want you for the U.S. Army” below his image. 

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top