Research / Analysis
The sheer loss of human life, the horrific destruction of Europe and parts of the Pacific, drove much of the world to conclude that such a conflict could simply not occur ever again: “Two World Wars and a world-wide depression in a single generation speak loudly and tragically of the need to develop a new, higher level of government to serve mankind.”1 The U.N. was created out of chaos . . .

Our poster is unique in that its significance extends far beyond World War II. On October 24, 1945, the U.N. officially came into existence when the Security Council (China, France, the USSR, the UK, and the U. S.), and the majority of the other 46 signatories ratified the charter. Today, with a total of 192 members, including virtually all recognized independent nations, the U.N. has become an established governing body able to create and enforce international law.

Evocative Meaning / Interpretation / Symbolism
The artist, Leslie Darrell Ragan, illustrated the scene with colossal clouds as integral parts of the poster, swirling, dark clouds that could represent the intensity of battle, that could highlight the fierceness of the war. The poster depicts American-made bomber aircraft, ships, and tanks charging into the light above the horizon, perhaps a representation of forward movement toward imminent victory. Thirty-two flags fly, each representing an Allied nation. The U. S. flag is positioned on top of the mass of flags, clearly suggesting that America is, in fact, leading the effort against Axis aggression. Perhaps one of the most interesting facets is the inclusion of so many exiled nations’ flags: Poland, free France, and Norway. Their insertion could underscore the Allies intent to “never surrender.”

1Stassen, Harold E., “We Need a World Government,” Nation, 22 May 1943, p. 11.


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