American Red Cross - Flyer, 1918.

Sub-collection: Flag Related Printed Materials

American Red Cross, "The Greatest Mother of them All" Flyer, 1918.
This small paper flyer was intended for display by subscribers to the American Red Cross (ARC). The image is one of the most famous from the First World War and features an ARC volunteer caring for a wounded soldier on a stretcher.

Entitled "The Greatest Mother in the World" it was the work of an American designer and artist named Alonzo. E. Foringer and was widely distributed on posters, placards and other promotional material for the ARC for whom it became an unofficial trademark.

The widespread appeal has been explained by its depiction of tenderness and mercy as well as its similarity with religious images of the Virgin Mary and Christ Child. It was an instant success and it was utilized by the ARC until the 1950s.

During WWI, the ARC provided vital services to both the American armed forces and the allies, particularly the French. They also were able to offer limited help to prisoners of war and European civilians with a particular emphasis on children.

The organization used the subscription funds collected to operate several ARC "service corps", among them the Camp Service; Canteen service; Home Service; the Production Service; the Nursing Service; the Hospital Service; the Hospital and Recreation Corps and the Motor Service.

Provenance: Acquired by purchase at the 22 July 2012, Bay Area Militaria Show, Naperdak Hall, San Jose, CA.


Images of Hope, American Red Cross Museum, 28 July 2012, from: http://www.redcross.org/museum/exhibits/posters.asp

World War I Accomplishments of the American Red Cross, American Red Cross Museum, 28 July, from: http://www.redcross.org/museum/history/ww1a.asp

The American Red Cross experiences growing pains and reorganization, American

Image Credits:
Zaricor Flag Collection

Hoist & Fly

Width of Hoist 5.875
Length of Fly 9.25


Is it framed? no


Description of Crest/Emblem American Red Cross stylized "Greatest Mother in the World"


Nation Represented United States


Fabric Paper


Method of Attachment None


Applique Sides Single Sided = Design on one side only

PDF Files
American Red Cross Museum - Images of Hope
ARC Museum Growing PAins
ARC Museum WWI Accomplishments


All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.
All original documents and drawings are held in the Zaricor Flag Collection Archives.


Condition Good
Damage Used, contains some tear and wear.
Displayable yes


Date 1918