U.S. Culture: Uncle Sam

Sunday, October 9, 2022

I want you for U.S. Army! 

That motto accompanies this famous World War l Army recruitment poster, and the man pointing his finger at you (the viewer) is Uncle Sam. This is an iconic image in U.S. culture.....but who is Uncle Sam?

In reality, Uncle Sam is a personification of the U.S. federal government, and Uncle Sam (initials U.S.) is a common nickname for the United States. Some people say Uncle Sam when they're really talking about the federal government (example: He owed $1000 in taxes to Uncle Sam.)

Uncle Sam represents patriotism and unity, and he is typically portrayed as a tall, thin, bearded man who wears a suit of red, white, and blue.  

It is believed that the name originated from war-time meat supplies during the War of 1812, whose packages were labeled U.S. A soldier jokingly stated that the initials referred to “Uncle Sam.”

Everyone is the United States has an uncle. Young or old, native-born or new citizen, your uncle is Uncle Sam.

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