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“Wear Your Honor Button” was one of many posters issued by the U.S. government during World War I to encourage support of the war. The Wilson administration knew the Great War would come with a large price tag. To generate the necessary funds, Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo created Liberty Loan Bonds. Liberty Loans were bonds that the government sold so they could keep up with the expenses of war. These were sold back to the government after the war. The caption in this poster, “Every American should consider it an honor to wear this button,” instilled the sense of duty and patriotism into Americans and encouraged them to purchase bonds. Buttons were frequently used in the wars propaganda. Children were often given buttons with slogans by different organizations. Regardless of their financial means, a high percentage of Americans bought Liberty Loan Bonds. During World War I, the American government issued four different Liberty Loan Bonds as well as the Victory Liberty Loan Bond, which was established in 1919 to finish paying war expenses. The United States paid an estimated $32 billion to finance the war (“The U.S. during World War I”, 2019). This poster was commissioned by the United States Department of Treasury Publicity Bureau from an unknown artist in 1918. The poster was created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of it’s distribution.


WWI, poster, Liberty Loans, war bonds, United States Treasury Department, William Gibbs McAdoo, lithographic print