Tag Archives: Ministry of Information (United Kingdom)

Keep Calm And Carry On

2 Nov

Keep Calm

Keep Calm And Carry On.

No, nothing to do with NaBloPoMo, although I suppose it fits!

I hadn’t realised that the ubiquitous motivational poster with that title was originally printed at the beginning of World War Two. (I was just a little too young to have seen it back then).

Keep Calm and Carry On –  history

It was issued by the Ministry of Information and although 2,500,000 copies were printed, they were only distributed in limited numbers.

It was the third poster in a series of three

“Freedom Is In Peril. Defend It With All Your Might” and

“Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution Will Bring Us Victory” were the others.

The story of how it became so popular today is interesting. It’s thought that remaining posters were destroyed at the end of the war. Then a bookshop in Northumberland came across one in a pile of old books he had bought at auction at the turn of this century.

Crown copyright  expires on artistic works created by the UK government after 50 years, which meant that the image was now in the public domain. The store’s owners printed copies at customers’ requests, after which others followed suit.

Now we now see it everywhere. Not just posters. We see badges, mugs, T-shirts etc. Virtually everything you can think of.

It has spawned plenty of amusing parodies too.

I rather like this one…


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