Human Flags.

The pictures below were taken by photographers Arthur Mole and John Thomas who toured army and naval bases in the latter years of the first world war taking these large scale patriotic style photographs, primarily for an advertising campaign to sell war bonds.
The photographs were designed over the course of a week and were marked out on the ground with ribbons so that the troops would know were to stand. The finished design was then photographed from a specially constructed 70 foot tower.
The planning for the layout had to be precise due to the large areas involved, for example, the statue of liberty design stretched over 1235 feet from head to toe and used over 18 000 men.

Human flag, taken at the Great Lakes Training Station 1916-17. captioned as "10 000 Bluejackets forming a living emblem of the American union". It is worth noting that the flag only has 48 stars as Hawaii and Alaska were not yet represented as states. It was 1959 before Alaska and 1960 before Hawaii were represented on the flag.

Bureau of Navigation, Naval Training Station, human flag 1916-17, by the National Photo Company.

The Y.M.C.A. emblem formed by officers, men, and camp activity workers at Camp Wheeler, Ga. 1917-18.

The Machine Gun Insignia; Machine Gun Training Center; 22 500 officers and men, 600 machine guns, taken at Camp Hancock, Augusta, Ga. 1918.

The Human U.S. Shield; 30,000 officers and men, Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Mich; 1918.

The Human Liberty Bell; 25000 officers and men at Camp Dix, New Jersey; 1918.

u.s.n rifle range camp Logan ill.

Human Statue of Liberty; 18,000 officers and men at Camp Dodge, Des Moines, Ia. 1917-18.

More Information.

The Camp Dodge Story.

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