Keep Calm and Civil On

Institute member Mark Winburn recently sent us this image on the back of an envelope containing his renewal.

"Keep Calm and Civil On," by Mark Winburn
“Keep Calm and Civil On,” by Mark Winburn

The design, a riff on the Keep Calm and Carry On message that has become a regular feature of t-shirts, coffee mugs, and mousepads around the world, is based on a poster produced by the British Government in 1939, on the eve of World War II. According to the Wikipedia:

It was intended to be distributed in order to strengthen morale in the event of a wartime disaster, such as mass bombing of major cities using high explosives and poison gas, which was widely expected within hours of an outbreak of war. Over 2,500,000 copies were printed, although the poster was distributed only in limited numbers, and never saw public display.

It was rediscovered after the year 2000, and has become the basis for a host of inspirational and comic variations like these:

Keep Calm and Carry On Variants
Variants of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” message, the former by “Philly1414”, and the latter by Mark Baker.

Winburn calls his image a bit of personal encouragement to ICG, because doing the right thing isn’t always the easy thing in life. While people and parties, he says, may not always agree on positions, remaining calm — and civil — is usually a good approach to carry on, even in the most extreme circumstances.

We couldn’t agree more.

If, like Mr. Winburn, civility is something that you care about — if you believe that our political processes (and daily lives) are enriched when we are able to keep calm, claim our needs, and respect the needs of others — make your voice heard. Join the Institute today. Or, if you’re already a member, consider making a donation.

But regardless, take Mr. Winburn’s message to heart: Keep Calm and Civil On.

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