Monday, August 23, 2010
Keep Calm and Carry On
I'm always seeing this phrase all over the internet - on posters, books, t-shirts. But I never knew what the story was behind it. It was only when I stumbled across this website that I found out. This is going to be a bit text heavy, but I urge you to persist, it's just so interesting if you're a bit history obsessed like me!
Turns out that it's actually related to World War II. The Ministry of Information was formed by the British government in WWII, and was the department responsible for publicity and propaganda. After the outbreak of the war, the Ministry of Information produced a number of posters that were designed to boost morale. The first two posters featured King George VI's crown and featured the phrases 'Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory' and 'Freedom is in Peril'. They were displayed all over Britain.
'Keep Calm and Carry On' was the third poster, and it was planned to be put up once Germany invaded Britain. Since this didn't happen, it was never displayed publically. All the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' posters were believed to be destroyed at the end of the war, but 60 years later a bookseller discovered a poster in a pile of old books (I love when things like this happen!) he'd purchased from an auction. There are also a few displayed in British museums. And since copyright on works created by the British government expires after 50 years, the poster is has been reprinted and inspired all sorts of products.
I think I'm going to have to buy a poster now, cause of the history behind it as well as the fact that I really like the phrase. Have a look over here, it's a site that sells all sorts of Keep Calm and Carry on products, t-shirts, books, posters...even chocolate bars. It sells pretty much everything actually :).
Posted by Katie at 3:35 PM