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Uncle Sam majolica toby jug produced in the United States circa 1940. Since the early 19th century, Uncle Sam has been a popular symbol of the U.S. government in American culture and a manifestation of patriotic emotion. According to legend, the character came into use during the War of 1812 and may have been named for Samuel Wilson, a meat supplier to the US government during that time. Uncle Sam has developed notoriety for his appearance in military propaganda, popularized by a famous 1917 World War I recruiting poster by J.M. Flagg. This Uncle Same is sitting astride a barrel of ale and holding a cup in his left hand.
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