Running Head: PROPAGANDA AND PATRIOTISM James Montgomery: Patriotism and the familial figure of Uncle Sam James Montgomery Flagg: Patriotism and the familial figure of Uncle Sam Patriotism is one of those illusive concepts that can be studied for its sociological emergence, for its psychology, for the way in which it creates impassioned emotions, and for the way in which it moves mass groups towards action when a nation is threatened…
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It is not just the concept of nation that people will mass together to defend, but also the notion of a resistance to change within the lifestyle that represents the culture. During World War I, James Montgomery created images that were intended to evoke powerful emotions within the citizens of the United States in order to find support the war efforts. Through emotionally packed imagery and the invention of marketing concepts that promoted the cause of patriotism, James Montgomery helped to increase the support that the American public gave in sacrificing men for soldiers and finances to support the effort. Patriotism is a term that describes a set of feelings that situate an individual within the social context of his or her nation. Those feelings can range from pride to fanaticism, and can even include dissent when loyalty to a nation must take the point of view that change is necessary. Loyalty is one of the core moral values in which patriotism is expressed. Primoratz and Pavkovic (2008) suggests that loyalty to a nation is an “associative loyalty“, created through associations within the relationship of the individual to the collective (p. 37). Tangible associations allow for the loyalty that is created to manifest, a focal point on which to create a resource from which and through which to express national pride and kinship. Loyalty, a central moral element of character, often requires associations in order to fully be experienced, thus the notion of propaganda becomes a serious and elemental aspect of creating patriotism within the citizens of a nation. As an example, being loyal to a football team is similar to the nature of patriotism to a nation. In order to create conduits of loyalty, colors, symbols, and auditory stimulation through chants and music will be used to support the fervor of the crowds towards loyalty to a team. In the case of a football team, however, loyalty is not a matter of moral value. Moral values develop through associations with honorable ideologies. Primoratzh and Pakovic (2008) put the question forward concerning loyalty to an organization such as the Nazi party. If one is associates with the Nazi party and is loyal, the question becomes centered on whether or not loyalty requires specific types of associations. Not only do Primoratzh and Pakovic (2008) consider patriotic loyalty to be associative loyalty, but to consider it an executive virtue, which is defined as “virtues of the will’…that assist us in carrying out our projects or what we may have a duty to do” (p. 38). Loyalty is how a nation moves its citizens to do the hard and sometimes impossibly difficult acts that are necessary to preserve and protect a way of life. Propaganda, while a seemingly harmful word that evokes images of manipulative and deceptive imageries and texts intended to brainwash the public, also has been used in order to promote and inspire feelings of patriotism within a nation. While it is a sad case that it is often a matter of the right ‘marketing’ package required to sell people on how to do the right thing, the use of a good set of strategies will often make or break a campaign for motivating people to do the right thing. This can become crucial during wartime eras when the support of the nation is crucial in
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