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History: James Montgomery Flagg born in 1877
On this day in 1877, American illustrator and poster artist, James Montgomery Flagg, was born in Pelham Manor, New York. By the age of 12, Flagg was selling his drawings and cartoons to St. Nicholas magazine. At the age of 15, he was a staff artist for both Judge and Life magazines, two of the nation’s most successful periodicals. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City (1894-1898), and then in London and Paris (1898-1900). Flagg remains best known for a single painting, his iconic illustration of Uncle Sam proclaiming, ‘I Want You’ for a US Army Recruiting poster. Between the years of 1917-1919, Flagg produced 46 posters for the United States Government, including the companion watercolor for ‘I Want You,’ entitled Miss Columbia. Flagg’s Uncle Sam image is still used over and over. The model for Uncle Sam was Monty Flagg himself – a self-portrait. Flagg died on May 27, 1960 in New York.
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