So I know we are at the tail end of the whole “Keep Calm and Carry On” trend. For a while there it seemed like we were being told to chill the heck out and carry on doing any random thing people could think of. What happened then to make me bring it up you ask? Well I saw the sign, as I have grown quite accustomed to seeing, somewhere and it occurred to me that most of the people that have jumped on the Keep Calm bandwagon probably don’t even know what it is or where it came from.
You’re about to find out.
First, you should know that this phrase originated in the UK. In late 1939, after the start of World War II, the British Government created a United Kingdom governmental department known as the Ministry of Information . The Ministry of Information was created to handle the publicity and propaganda of the war. They were assigned the task of creating morale boosting posters to put up all over the country to keep people’s spirits up in a time of war. The ministry created two posters, and a third one that was to be used in the event of a German invasion into Britain.
This third poster was required by the government to be a bold eye-catching color, and feature the famed crown of the then king George VI. Thus the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster was invented. Well we all know, or you do now, that the invasion never happened and the poster was never released to the public. So it would seem no one would ever have their morale boosted by this catchy slogan.
Well we know better don’t we. Almost 60 years after the conclusion of the war, someone randomly came across the old posters somewhere (wow could that be any vaguer? Whatever, it don’t matter!) and bam we have a new topic trending on twitter.
So next time you see a care free Keep Calm and ______ [insert various random phrase here] you will know where it came from and you can tell all the ignorant people how you know the truth. And how the truth will set you free. And then you can bite your thumb at them and walk away exasperatedly. Well, you can if you’re a Montague, but it might be safer and more 21st century to say MMMMM Betta Not and take the Pitch Perfect moral high ground.