Saluting the Flag by Norman Rockwell
May 12, 1917 Issue of The Saturday Evening Post
Saluting the Flag, this Norman Rockwell painting, appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post published May 12, 1917.
An alternate title for this painting is Ready to Serve.
This painting was Rockwell's eighth overall picture out of 322 featured on the cover of The Post. Rockwell's career with the Post spanned 47 years, from his first cover illustration, Boy With Baby Carriage in 1916 to his last, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, in 1963.
This was also the second Rockwell cover in 1917. The Post featured a Rockwell illustration on its cover four times in 1917.
Saluting the Flag has also been reproduced in two Rockwell commentary books, as illustration 105 of ***Nuechener.shtml***and on page 76 of Norman Rockwell, A Definitive Catalogue by Laurie Norton Moffatt.
This magazine cover, like all Rockwell's earlier published works, is hard to find in pristine (VF or better) condition. The higher grades generally sell for more than one hundred dollars, sometimes much more. I have only seen a very few of this one in cpondition good enough for me to want to own it. Each time, the price as beyond my budgeted price.
Saluting the Flag
Here is Rockwell's Memorial Day illustration from 1917.
Memorial Day was originally celebrated to remember Union soldiers who died during the United States Civil War.
The three characters in this painting are all saluting the flag as it passes in a parade. All three are looking upward at the flag. We can even see the shadow of the flag on the young lady's dress.
The young lady wears a white dress, probably because it is a springtime color. She also wears a flag pin on her lapel.
The Boy Scout is giving the three fingered Boy Scout salute.
The focus of the painting, however, is the old veteran. He has removed his hat in honor of the flag. His hat is an Army officer's hat. On his lapel is a red and white Memorial ribbon.
Saluting the Flag was only one of 322 Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post covers; Here is the list of Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations.
Here is the complete list of all Norman Rockwell magazine covers.
The most telling detail in the painting, however, is the medal pinned on his chest. The pin is an eagle with red and white ribbon connecting to a upside-down star. Which war was he fighting in when he earned this medal? We can only speculate.
Update: The answer is below.
(Image Only) Copyright © 1917 Saturday Evening Post & Curtis Publishing Company
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Norman Rockwell Quotes:
I'll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I'd like to.
No man with a conscience can just bat out illustrations. He's got to put all his talent and feeling into them!
Some people have been kind enough to call me a fine artist. I've always called myself an illustrator. I'm not sure what the difference is. All I know is that whatever type of work I do, I try to give it my very best. Art has been my life.
Right from the beginning, I always strived to capture everything I saw as completely as possible.
The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they're always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.
I can take a lot of pats on the back. I love it when I get admiring letters from people. And, of course, I'd love it if the critics would notice me, too.
You must first spend some time getting your model to relax. Then you'll get a natural expression.
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