With the war in Iraq so important in American culture and life, it is surprising that artists, cartoonists and painters have expressed themselves for or against it, through patriotic drawings.
They say that an image speaks louder than a thousand voices, and it is certainly the case of some of these pieces.
Patriotic drawings are appealing because they have an ability to summarize several ideas or concepts in an image. For example, patriotic drawings that have a tall, old, but agile Caucasian man dressed in a blue, white and red suit with stars and stripes are immediately recognized as the famous Uncle Sam, which is used a representation of the United States.
Now, artists have the freedom to do patriotic drawings that depict Uncle Sam engaged in several activities, and this reflects their political standings. Some people think that truly patriotic drawings only show Uncle Sam in a positive way and free of negative criticism.
I tend to disagree, on the basis that America is a land of freedom, and the freedom to express oneself includes disagreeing with the governments actions. And this disagreement can be expressed through patriotic drawings as well. Of course, that is only my humble opinion.
Patriotic drawings include other elements that make other countries and systems very recognizable. The best example would be the bear, with or without a Russian hat, which used to represent the extinct Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics, and it is now used somewhat to represent Russia. Although this symbol has lost some power since Russia is not considered such a threat anymore.
Another symbol that used to be used frequently in patriotic drawings was a gorilla dressed like a general. This symbol used to represent small guerrilla generals who became dictators in small Latin American countries. Fortunately, since they have tended to disappear and be replaced by democratic governments, this symbol has started to disappear also.
But I guess my favorite character in patriotic drawings is the fat pig dressed in a suit. It is meant to represent the greedy CEOs and directors of big companies that are interested only in money. They do not care if they pollute their planet or if people can make a living as long as they keep their privileges.
I realize that not all CEOs and businessmen are like that, but I consider those that are the worst enemy we have in this moment.
In the end patriotic drawings can makes us feel proud of ourselves, or look at the things we have to improve as a nation. And it is up to you to take their standing on a specific issue, or defend another one.