The Next American Idol

Friday, June 18, 2010 - 10:15 AM

Sometimes we cling tightly to things we deem 'traditional' without realizing they're not as deeply entrenched in our history as we thought.

Take Uncle Sam: he hasn't changed much since J. M. Flagg's iconic World War I recruitment poster, in which he appeared as an older white man wearing a snazzy red, white, and blue outfit — these days, he seems to be busy selling air-conditioners at rock bottom prices. 

Yet lost to time is his young, female compatriot Columbia, another once-beloved embodiment of our country who had her heyday in 19th-century political cartoons.  This all got us thinking that it's time to challenge some of the symbols for American that we've come to take for granted.

In honor of our nation's birthday, Studio 360 wants you to come up with a new take on Uncle Sam.  Here, Kurt outlines our challenge:

You can see all the entries and submit your own HERE.


"Kid America" by Flickr user nicoleyfun

nicoleyfun cast America as 'a small child, jam-packed with pure potential, a good heart, a curious little mind, naïveté, fearlessness, and an unrelenting eagerness to please.'

The deadline to enter our challenge is this Sunday, June 20 at midnight.  We'll reveal our favorites on the show broadcasting the weekend of July 4th.


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Comments [24]


great :-)

Jul. 30 2010 10:47 PM
pink magic

i haven't seen any really good designs in the contest yet... hope there's a last minute pickup!

Jun. 29 2010 11:46 AM

I very much like this! I see uncle sam pushing mattresses, used cars, electronics, furniture and so much more. I wonder how much of that product is actually made in America!?!?!?

Jun. 28 2010 11:02 AM
Oscar Belmont

Anything has got both positive side and negative side philosophically, logically, emotionally...what-so-ever-ly.

...America is not as exception. American influence in the world is obviously noticeable either positively or negatively.
When we talk about an icon representing relevant nation a positive symbol should be appropriate.

There are loads of original heroes coming out from the USA, namely Superman, Spider-man, X-Men, Batman, Captain America, Wonder Woman... even Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse... endless.
Among them there are heroes or heroins designed with the US flag.

They are quite well known worldwide.
So they can be used as American idols as they are apart from paying IP royalties.

This is how it is perceived by one of non-American individuals.

Jun. 21 2010 08:05 AM

Love it

Jun. 20 2010 06:22 PM
Matt Sky

Cool stuff!

Jun. 20 2010 03:22 PM

It's Ronald McDonald wearing Kevlar body armour!

Jun. 20 2010 06:50 AM
Link Trade Center

Cool idea, absolutely like this.

Jun. 20 2010 02:54 AM
Linda Medero

Uhm, maybe it's just me, but a majority of these illustrations show quite a bit of anger and resentment towards who we have become. Not being an artist I couldn't begin to create it, but maybe something that symbolizes the individual (all of "us") taking back our country from the power hungry few ("them", ie, corporations, politicians, etc.) and re-establishing honest, ethical behavior and business that we all long for. Maybe along the lines of "Don't Tread on Me"???

Jun. 19 2010 11:13 PM

Who's the new American idol? I'm not so updated." Kid America...,"

Jun. 19 2010 07:12 PM

Pretty cool!!

Jun. 19 2010 06:27 PM

What a great idea- loved going through all the entries!

Jun. 19 2010 05:45 PM

I don't see why they need to change the original Uncle Sam. He's worked this long, why change now?

The Codger

Jun. 19 2010 03:07 PM

Hey this is a great article. thanks for the info.

Jun. 19 2010 08:45 AM

Yes, do never take for granted the people who helped to build the Nation. That at some point is call Honor Fathers and Mathers. My believe is that is not only for parents or whoever was around while growing up. To lot of us it means, as you mention, to remember the good lessons, mile stones, and even territory won from all this people battles. Great Post!!
Let LOVE win!
~Great Love to you,
Mirian from peelingtheorange.

Jun. 19 2010 05:29 AM

Unfortunately, either the Target logo or a Big Mac.

Jun. 19 2010 04:55 AM
php programming

neat work and smart idea too.

Jun. 19 2010 04:53 AM

thank you for the information ... source

Jun. 19 2010 02:38 AM

nice idea

Jun. 18 2010 11:36 PM

Amazing America is identified with so many ethnic cultures already.

Jun. 18 2010 07:33 PM

Cool. I wonder if multicultural elements will turn up. America is identified with so many ethnic cultures already.

Jun. 18 2010 02:55 PM

I'm reading this too late also. I have never thought of doing this.

Jun. 18 2010 01:31 PM

the new american idol is the USA MILITARY TERRORIST!

Just atack the inofensive free states.

Jun. 18 2010 01:08 PM

Neat idea. I don't think I'll create an entry of an American symbol by this Sunday -- but I liked seeing the entries so far.

Jun. 18 2010 11:55 AM

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