Keep Calm and Carry On by VariousKeep Calm and Carry On was a World War 2 government poster discovered in a dusty box nine years ago. Though it never saw the light of day in 1939 (it was only supposed to go up if Britain was invaded), it has suddenly struck a chord in our current difficult times, now we are in need of a stiff upper lip and optimistic energy once again. Gordon Brown had one up in 10 Downing Street and James May wears a Keep Calm T-shirt on the telly - it is suddenly everywhere. The book is packed full of similarly motivational and inspirational quotes, proverbs, mantras and wry truths to help us through the recession, from such wits as Churchill, Disraeli and George Bernard Shaw. Funny, wise and stirring - it is a perfect source of strength to get us all through the coming months.
A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain Mark Twain
Its a recession when your neighbor loses his job; its a depression when you lose your own Harry S. Truman
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didnt happen today Laurence J. Peter
Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine Lord Byron
Better bread with water than cake with trouble Russian Proverb
The full story behind wartime Keep Calm and Carry On posters
Around eight years after it started to appear, it has become quite possibly the most successful meme in history. And, unlike most memes, it has been astonishingly enduring, a canvas on to which practically anything can be projected while retaining a sense of ironic reassurance. It is the ruling emblem of an era that is increasingly defined by austerity nostalgia. I can pinpoint the precise moment at which I realised that what had seemed a typically, somewhat insufferably, English phenomenon had gone completely and inescapably global. I was going into the flagship Warsaw branch of the Polish department store Empik and there, just past the revolving doors, was a collection of notebooks, mouse pads, diaries and the like, featuring a familiar English sans serif font, white on red, topped with the crown, in English:. As a logo, it was nearly as recognisable as Coca-Cola or Apple.
The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities. It has since been re-issued by a number of private companies, and has been used as the decorative theme for a range of products. Evocative of the Victorian belief in British stoicism — the " stiff upper lip ", self-discipline, fortitude, and remaining calm in adversity — the poster has become recognised around the world. Each poster showed the slogan under a representation of a " Tudor Crown " a symbol of the state. They were intended to be distributed to strengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster, such as mass bombing of major cities using high explosives and poison gas, which was widely expected within hours of an outbreak of war.