The 1941 “Defend Your Country” recruitment poster showed a newly revamped Uncle Sam, standing strong and bracing for war. This masculinized and angry Uncle Sam, bracing for an all-out war. This poster, and others in the WWII era, departed from the paternal but non-threatening image of Uncle Sam, and show him sternly marching off to fight.
This image speaks volumes for the masculinized attitudes towards the war during this era. Uncle Sam, the personification of the nation, had shed his hat and jacket, symbolizing restraint, and showed his muscles as he sternly marched off to war. Federal materials likewise depicted the nation’s as flexing their military power in response to Pearl Harbor, and as shedding their restraint and marching off to battle the Axis powers. The nation was thus defined through this masculine aggression, and was encouraged to follow through to defend their country by enlisting in the Army.