Keep Calm and Carry On

Originally posted 2016-10-12 12:30:12

By Tasha Schmidt |

“Keep Calm and Carry On.” Have you ever heard this phrase before? This phrase’s popularity is growing throughout the world as more and more people are finding resonation in the words. This phrase has been reproduced, parodied, and reprinted on everything from mouse pads to t-shirts. Now the real question is, who has ownership? Originally the poster was made as a propaganda poster by the British World War II government in 1939 in preparation for an invasion from Germany in an attempt to keep the public calm. However, the poster was never actually used. Instead the posters with the phrases, “Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might,” and, “Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory,” were the two common posters used by the British government in preparation for the war.

The poster did not resurface again until 2000, when owners of Barter Books, Stuart and Mary Manley, in the United Kingdom found the poster hidden away in an a box of books which was going to be auctioned. Mary enjoyed the poster so much that she placed it in a frame at the front of the store. Its popularity slowly begin to grow as customers asked for prints of the poster. Eventually the word’s popularity spread and sparked an interest with other companies in the UK and also in the United States. Crown Copyright originally patented the poster in 1939, however, it has been longer than fifty years so now the phrase has been opened to the public domain. The longing for restrictive action is growing as the question of who owns the phrase or who will own the phrase is brought to the surface. The battle for the trademark has ensued into 2013 and it will be interesting to see how it will play out.

The Guardian,

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