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Uncle Sam is the national personification of the United States and sometimes more specifically of the American government, with the first usage of the term dating from the War of 1812. He is depicted as a stern elderly white man with white hair and a goatee beard, and dressed in clothing that recalls the design elements of flag of the United States--for example, typically a top hat with red and white stripes and white stars on a blue band, and red and white striped trousers.
J. M. Flagg’s 1917 poster, based on the original British Lord Kitchener poster of three years earlier, was used to recruit soldiers for both World War I and World War II. Flagg used a modified version of his own face for Uncle Sam, and veteran Walter Botts provided the pose. The face also bears resemblance to the real Samuel Wilson.
The brilliantly exploitable picture then became the target for widespread forum and imageboard discussions. Often to elaborate people to either “Stop whining” or “Shut the f*ck up”
The meme’s origins are hard to research, but one might argue that it started very early in internet culture.
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