The Loose Lips Sink Ships Mentality
Propaganda posters during World War II took a variety of forms, depending on what part of morale or knowledge needed uplifting. In Germany, they were mostly rather heavy handed calling for the dedication to the Fatherland and glorifying the armed forces. In England, they quoted some of Churchill's pithier statements, and covered all manner of Homefront stuff (Grow your Own!, Carry a Torch for the Blackout! etc etc). A lot of the British ones are really interesting and visually appealing. In the US, there was a huge variety of posters as well -- Norman Rockwell, the Women for the War Effort Campaign (Rosie the Riveter), racist anti-Japanese sentiments, Buy Bonds. They tend to be brighter and have cleaner lines than the other countries' posters, though I have no idea why. Maybe it was something as simple as having better paper stock over here during the war years. One thing that just about every country I've tracked down has in common, though, is the idea that the enemy might be everywhere, and to never divulge any information that might be sensitive and help the enemy .. the Loose Lips Sinks Ships! mentality.
* Scary, eh?
** A gold star banner in a home in the US during the war signified that a relative had died for his country. I think a silver star meant that a relative was serving in the Armed Forces. The Sullivan family would have displayed a banner with 5 gold stars on it, one for each son.
© 1999 Amanda Osborne
Nothing on these pages may be used without permission. Thank you.