'Flags from around Europe', Regent Series

'Flags from around Europe', Regent Series

 'Union is Strength', Regent Series
Christmas card
Britain
1914-18
Lithograph with multicoloured striped ribbon (blue, white and red) and gold embossed lettering
Museum no. E.262-1952

Fourteen flags representing the nations united in war are clustered in two groups of seven on either side of the slogan 'Xmas Greetings and Best Wishes'. A lion sits centrally atop the slogan, representing the British Empire.

Inside reads
[left] "God guard and
protect you
throughout the Christmastide
and in
the Coming Year."

[right] "Soldiers and sailors of England's might,
Who answered Duty and went forth to fight
For the sake of Honour, Freedom and Right,
We take off our hats to you.
Though you miss the home on this Christmas Day,
There will soon come a time when all will say: -
'Here's to those who kep our flag in sway',
We take off our hats to you.
[author] Sidney Nelville"

Though war would seem to be totally opposed to the spirit of goodwill, generosity and peace promoted at Christmas, the number of Christmas cards sent increased dramatically during the First and Second World Wars. Soldiers were separated from families and friends - many never returned home - and the emphasis on the joy and goodness of Christmas became all the more pronounced. A number of wartime greetings focused on warm scenes of hearth and home like those the soldiers were missing. These same scenes were just as nostalgic for wives, children and elderly people coping with discomforts of scarcity and rationing at home. Another popular them for wartime cards was the use of simple symbols such as flags to convey a sense of pride in one's country.

This card can be found in Print Room Box 3.