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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Keep Calm and...

In WWII England, the Ministry of Information (MOI) was developed by the British government and was responsible for publicity and propaganda.  After the outbreak of the war, late 1939, the MOI was charged with developing moral boosting posters that would be placed across Great Britain. They would be similar, in that all would use bright colors, and have the crown of King George VI (Queen Elizabeth's father) at the top. 

The first two posters produced were "Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolutions will Bring Us Victory" and "Freedom is in Peril" and were hugely effective. The third poster, "KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON" was never seen as it was only to be used should Germany invade Great Britain. At the end of the war, 1945, these posters were supposed to have been destroyed but almost 60 years later, a book seller stumbled across a treasure trove of these posters when he bought a collection of dusty old books at auction. Others have surfaced, some in the National Archives, The Imperial War Museum and during an episode of the Antiques Road Show. Read more about the auction here.

I think it's wonderful the old posters were found and often wonder if Great Britain has that same sort of enthusiasm and patriotism now. That sort of stiff upper lip and, later Churchwellian bulldogedness, carried them, successfully, through two world wars. For that matter, do we in the USA? I think not or things wouldn't be as horrid as they seem to be now.
The saying KEEP CALM has become a mantra for millions and there are hundreds of sayings. Some of my favorites, above..KEEP CALM AND TRUST GOD...kept the crown but has the Alpha and Omega Greek letters to either side. KEEP CALM AND PRAY HARD is another favorite.
This whimsical KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON KNITTING reminds me busy hands have little time for trouble making. Plus, there's something to show for time that would, otherwise, be lost to watching television or sitting in a mindless meeting.

My travel agent ends her correspondence with KEEP CALM AND TRAVEL ON; cute!
KEEP CALM AND FARM reminds me farming, even on such a small scale as what I do, is a worthwhile endeavor. It's a hard endeavor but keeps me out of trouble, lets me breath clean, fresh air every day, rest  my weary eyes on some of God's best handiwork and sleep soundly at night. 
What's your favorite KEEP CALM poster? Would you like to make one? The Keep Calm and Posters and Keep Calm Studio are both places to make your own poster. Plug in the empty spots and your poster comes to life.

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~ Albert Einstein ~

Today's Miracles ~ calm ~ farming ~ knitting ~ praying ~ carrying on ~ traveling ~ GOD ~

21 comments:

Splenderosa said...

I love what Albert said. He & I think alike most of the time. xx's

Debbie said...

I liked this post. Learned somethin! How wonderful to come upon such a piece of history. I love to read and study about the 40's era and WWII. Einstein's comment was though provoking. I was glad to read it.
Deb

Karen said...

I did not know the origin! Fun! .... I like the one I see most often.. Keep Calm and Carry On.

dori said...

I love "keep calm and trust God" VERY much and I try to make this exercise as often, as I remember this wisdom. Thank you, dear Thistle for reminding me this evening again!

Sparky Hudson said...

Oh cool! Being a HUGE (old) English culture fan I love the "Keep Calm" posters and T-shirts. I wanna make one that says "Keep Calm And Never Miss Your Target". [wink] ~:)

Michelle said...

Oh my, I'm going to have to create a "Keep calm and ride on"! Thanks for the links; I've seen the posters and take-offs but hadn't heard the history before.

Suzanne@Meridian Road said...

I like most of the variations I've seen of those posters, but one that made me laugh was "Panic and throw things".
We have a wide vein of sarcasm running though our family. That's my excuse.

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

Thank you so much for the info on these posters! They are indeed everywhere, but I really like them. I saw someone with a shirt the other day that said, "Keep Calm and Vote Republican". That was a first! I agree with your sentiments about knitting. Have a great weekend!

vicki said...

Keep calm and keep knitting-- that's my favorite!! Such an interesting story-- I had no idea--

Vicki

Vilisi said...

Wow that is so interesting! I had been under the impression that the phrase 'Keep calm and carry on' was coined especially for the London Olympics last year. lol! Thanks for sharing its true origin.
'Keep calm and trust God' seems to be the constant refrain of my life these days; to which I should probably add, 'Keep calm and pray on.' :)
I love Einstein's perception of how life ought to be lived. :)

Sue McPeak said...

Right O!!!Who knew, but you....thanks for the history...love it. Keep Calm and Carry On!!

ByLightOfMoon said...

Thanks For the Keep Calm Link, I made a sign but it was huge, I will have to learn to re - size it!

This has been a very interesting read!

Smiles, Cyndi

Donna said...

These are cute! Thanks for the links!

Quinn said...

What fun! Thanks for the background info and links. :)
I hope you didn't get all the ice you were expecting!

Fay Iseminger said...

Thank you for this post. I needed to hear it right now.

Blessings,
Fay

Paula said...

This was wonderful, Sandra~ I never knew the history behind these signs!
I love all the ones you have here, but my favorite is one I just saw the other day and it made me laugh out loud~
"Keep Calm and get the Seam Ripper"
*haha*

Gumbo Lily said...

What a fun post and interesting history of the Keep Calm posters. I saw one last Thanksgiving that said: Keep Calm and Cranberry On.

Robyn said...

Hi there, loved this post! I am a new reader and follower of your blog. Actually I've been reading your blog for days I am all the way back to the end of 2010.. Do you think I love your blog a little? LOL.. I also wanted to extend my deepest, deepest sympathies on the loss of Dave. You are an amazing woman an I love how real you are on your blog and I hope you never change.
Robyn:)

Sue H said...

There has been quite a resurgence of the 'Keep Calm &....' motif - on mugs and bags and books etc.

However, I am surprised to learn that this particular wording/poster was supposedly never seen in public as it was intended for use after a possible German invasion of the UK and was only unearthed 60 years later? (I seem to recall seeing this saying displayed in many historical/re-enactment places we've visited over the years, certainly before the 1980's!?)

Nevertheless, although I was born 10 years after WW2 ended, my family (being at the poorer end of the scale) had make-do-and -mend down to a fine art - and it still factors in my daily life now!

Like my daughter (a History graduate) I'm keenly interested in British Social History and the way Britain had to keep a stiff upper lip and just get on with life as normal, even though our backs were to the wall! Indeed, rationing only ended a few months before I was born! You might like this youtube clip! http://youtu.be/ccrgfnLg_Ig

Buttons said...

Great post I am sure you know which I would pick:) Keep Calm and Farm. They should have Keep Calm and Wander:)
Take care B

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Marsha, he was such a wise, intelligent man and flunked algebra!

Debbie, Einstein had come to the US from Hitler's Europe. So much more to the story...

Karen, thanks, you reminded me I'd forgotten that one; just added it.

Dori, that's my favorite!

Sparky, love it! I like "Keep Calm and Shoot Straight" -lol-

Michelle, that's a good one.

Suzanne, that might be my new favorite -grin-.

Susan, yours is fabulous!

Vicki, keep calm and knit gets me through many a long day and night.

Villsi, nope, not for the Olympics but decades before.

Sue, it's great history, loved it!

Cyndi, glad you enjoyed it.

Fay, I need to hear the keep calm part daily -lol-.

Donna, you're welcome, enjoy.

Quinn, off and on, lots of slushy ice, wind and cold...ugh. I am tired.

Paula...LOVE IT!

Gumbo...so funny!

Robyn, you're so kind, thank you for visiting and for following.

Sue, all I know is what my research turned up.

Buttons, keep calm and farm was one I loved as well.

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