Keep Calm and Carry Firearms

Keep Calm and Carry Firearms

Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for the Second World War. The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities.[1][2] Although 2.45 million copies were printed, and although the Blitz did in fact take place, the poster was hardly ever publicly displayed and was little known until a copy was rediscovered in 2000 at Barter Books, a bookshop in Alnwick. It has since been re-issued by a number of private companies, and has been used as the decorative theme for a range of products.[3]

Evocative of Victorian stoicism – the "stiff upper lip", self-discipline, fortitude, and remaining calm in adversity, which popular culture rendered into a British character trait – the poster has become recognised around the world.[4] It was thought that only two original copies survived until a collection of approximately 15 was brought in to the Antiques Roadshow in 2012 by the daughter of an ex-Royal Observer Corps member.
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