Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Keep Calm & Rebuild Bahrain

A lot of us have seen the 'Keep Calm And Carry On' posters, whether they're the replica or have different messages on them. This poster has always fascinated me however, it was when I got older, I realized that there has to be a story behind it, which led me to the origings behind the Poster.
The Keep Calm & Carry on posters were formed by the British Government (Ministry of Information) as the department was responsible for publicity and propaganda during the Second World War. In late 1959 after the outbreak of War, the MOI was appointed by the British Government to design a number of morale boosting posters that would be displayed across the British Isles during the testing times that lay ahead.
With a bold colored background, the posters were required to be similar in style and feature the symbolic crown of King George VI along with a simple yet effective font. The first two posters, 'You Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Revolution will Bring Us Victory' and 'Freedom is in Peril' were produced by His Majesty's Stationary's Office.
These two were posted on public transport in shop windows, upon notice boards and hoardings across Britain. The third and final poster of the set was again very straight forward and to the point, it simply read 'Keep Calm and Carry On'. The plan in place for this poster was to issue it only upon the invasion of Britain by Germany. As this never happened, the poster was only displayed on a very few office walls and was never officially seen by the public.
It is believed that most of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters were destroyed and reduced to a pulp at the end of the war in 1945. However nearly 60 years later, a bookseller from Barter Books stumbled across a copy hidden amongst a pile of dusty old books bought from an auction. A small number also remain in the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum in London.
No record remains of the unknown Civil Servant who originally came up with the simple and quintessential Britishness of the Keep Calm and Carry On message. However it is wonderful to think that all these years later, people still find it so appealing and reassuring in modern times. The message clearly resonates with everyone around us and blatantly states :when $#it hits the fan, we have to take it on (if it ever happens in the literal sense, keep your mouths closed).
This iconic symbol filled with imagery applies to the current situation in Bahrain, regardless of what has happened in the country or is happening, we have to all stick together in the good days and mostly in hard times to try and bring back Bahrain not only to where it was but better. We all have our different messages, but to the Loyalists of Bahrain, here's my message to you: Keep Calm & Love Bu Salman. (in case of Emergency, please refer to the Black Poster- I will!).


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