The 1942 United We Stand Campaign

1942 United We Stand

July, 1942

In 1942, the United States was embroiled in WWII and facing national military, cultural, and psychological challenges. To bolster national morale and unity, various sectors of American society faced these challenges by contributing in unique ways. One of the most remarkable and visually impactful contributions came from the publishing industry with the "United We Stand" magazine cover campaign that July.

How It Began

The campaign was conceived as a visual statement meant to foster national unity and support for the war effort. Organized by the Magazine Publishers of America (MPA), this initiative saw a concerted effort by nearly 500 magazines to dedicate their July 1942 covers to a single theme: national unity. The campaign aimed to remind Americans of their shared purpose and the importance of solidarity during a time of unprecedented global conflict.

1942 United We Stand

Visual and Symbolic Impact

The covers produced for the campaign were diverse in style and tone, reflecting the wide array of publications involved. However, they all centered around the unifying message of patriotism and collective effort. Participating covers depicted the American flag. Some also included iconic American figures and many used the phrase "United We Stand" prominently.

These covers served as a rallying cry and a visual manifestation of the American spirit. By synchronizing their message, they amplified the sense of unity and shared purpose among their readership. The imagery was designed to evoke pride, resilience, and a determination to support the war effort in whatever way possible.

1942 United We Stand

Participating Publications

The range of magazines participating in the "United We Stand" campaign was extensive, encompassing a historically broad spectrum of American society. From mainstream publications like "Time" and "Life" to niche periodicals catering to specific interests, the reach was vast. This inclusivity ensured that the message of unity reached various demographic segments, reinforcing the idea that every American, regardless of their background or interests, had a role to play in the unifying effort.

1942 United We Stand

Cultural and Historical Significance

The "United We Stand" campaign is an example of how media and visual art can be harnessed to inspire and mobilize a population during times of crisis. The campaign highlights the power of collaboration across industries and the importance of unity in the face of adversity.

If you would like to learn more about this campaign, or see the magazine covers in greater detail, please visit this page of the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American History website to view the online exhibit and get started on a journey back to 1942!

1942 United We Stand

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Send us your pictures of American Eagles (bald eagles), American flags, flagpoles, ropes, or other accessories! We would be honored to feature your photography in our blog or on Facebook. Remember, photos of damaged flags and accessories are valuable, too.

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