America's Tribute to Britain


This poster, showing a bald eagle placing a victory wreath on a lion's head, is from 1917, the year that the United States entered World War I on the side of Great Britain. The lion is a traditional symbol of England, the largest of the countries that make up the United Kingdom (the others being Scotland, Wales, and, at this time, Ireland). The symbol goes back to the 12th century, when King Richard I (1157–99), known as Richard the Lionheart, chose three lions as his symbol in battle. The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom shows a golden lion and a silver unicorn (symbol of Scotland) supporting the royal shield. In 1782, the United States Congress chose the bald eagle as a symbol of the nation; the bird appears on the presidential seal, the seal of the United States, and various American coins. This poster is by Frederic G. Cooper (born 1883), a well-known American graphic designer, poster artist, and illustrator. Cooper was born in Oregon and was educated at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute in San Francisco. He moved to New York City in 1904, where he worked as a freelance artist creating designs for New York Edison, Westinghouse, and many other companies. During World War I, he designed posters for the War Department and the U.S. Food Administration.

Last updated: October 25, 2013