Welcome Noble Belgium


This 1917 poster shows Belgium and the United States greeting each other in front of the flags of these two countries, marking the U.S. entry into World War I. Belgium is represented by a woman holding the coat of arms of the kingdom, which features a lion (Leo Belgicus) and the national motto: L’Union fait la force (Unity makes strength). The United States is represented by the figure of “Columbia,” the female personification of America that was widely used in the late 19th and early 20th century and only later surpassed in popularity by the iconic “Uncle Sam.” When the United States entered the war on April 6, 1917, its main allies were Great Britain and France. But the American public was much attached to its smaller ally, “noble Belgium,” which as a neutral country had been attacked and overrun by German forces in August 1914, causing outrage and arousing sympathy for the Belgians in the United States and in other countries.

Last updated: February 10, 2014