The texts on the bottom of the poster indicates its purpose: to advertise the Third Liberty Loan Act. Sponsored by U.S. Department of the Treasury, many promotional posters of the Liberty Bond Acts used imagery of soldiers' bravery to inspire patriotism among citizens at home, including this poster. In the background, the environment echoes the darkness before sunrise, suggesting the faith in the eventual victory of the Allies. In contrast, strong light shines on the charging soldier to set a sense of nobility in his action. The soldier charges with a bright U.S. national flag tightly held in one hand and let it wave freely over his head, indicating that a glorious sacrifice for his nation is in the calling. The soldier's mouth is wide open, and his facial muscles in great tension, as if he is loudly screaming as he charges. This expression suggests a strong resolve.
His position is leaning forward, resonating the title "Over The Top For You," which refers to the trench confrontations in World War I. Going over the trenches exposes soldiers to their enemies. The artist, Sidney H. Riesenberg, uses "Over The Top For You" to convey a message that U.S. soldiers would take risks such as this to repay countrymen's support, and bring victory home. This message smoothly relates the general hope of the war outcome in U.S. to the promotion of government's wartime bond.
Riesenberg (1885 - 1971) was a Chicago based illustrator who was best known for creating posters during World War I.
Yuan, Fangzhou, "Over the Top for You" (2014). World War I Poster Project. 6.
Additional FilesOver the Top For You.docx (477 kB)
Gettysburg College, WWI, World War I, Patriotism, Savings Bonds, Government Bonds, Liberty Loans, Third Liberty Loan Act