Probably more important in 2012 than ever before: Fly your flag for American labor today.
“Free Labor Will Win,” the poster said, encouraging a theme important during World War II, when unions were encouraged to avoid strikes or any action that might interrupt work to build the “arsenal of democracy” believed necessary to win the war. Labor complied, the war was won, and organized labor was the stronger for it. In 2012, some have difficulty remembering when all Americans knew that our future rides on the backs of organized labor.
The poster was issued by the Office of War Information in 1942, in full color. A black-and-white version at the Library of Congress provides a few details for the time:
Labor Day poster. Labor Day poster distributed to war plants and labor organizations. The original is twenty-eight and one-half inches by forty inches and is printed in full color. It was designed by the Office of War Information (OWI) from a photograph especially arranged by Anton Bruehl, well-known photographer. Copies may be obtained by writing the Distribution Section, Office of War Information [alas, you can’t get a copy from the Office of War Information in 2012]
Even down here in deepest, darkest-right-to-work Texas, patriots fly their flags to honor Labor today. It’s heartening.
More, Other Resources:
- History of Labor Day from the U.S. Department of Labor
- Unions put the “labor” in Labor Day. (unionspeak.wordpress.com)
- The arts of Labor Day (wagingnonviolence.org)
- Biden to speak in Detroit on Labor Day (wxyz.com)