Propaganda has been a powerful tool used throughout history. But how does it really work? And is it only used to trick people into believing certain things? When we hear about it, do we think only about past historic events or can we think of an example of seeing propaganda in today’s world? 

Propaganda can be spread through books, movies, images, and other sources that reach mass audiences. Its primary goal is to change people’s views and opinions. After important events that changed the world’s history, propaganda started to carry a rather negative connotation. But it can also be used to spread positive messages and embrace necessary changes.

Bored Panda has already covered the topic by presenting these propaganda posters about the COVID-19 crisis. The pictures depict very recent events, so it’s no trouble for people to understand what is the hidden meaning behind them. But what about some of the older propaganda images? Are we able to decipher those? 

A subreddit called PropagandaPosters with 415k members shares various posters and pamphlets that show how propaganda was spread during various periods of time. These images depict and help to understand some historical events better with their symbolic drawings, call-to-action messages, and well-portrayed stereotypes. Which one of these do you find the most influential? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below!

More Info: Reddit

#1

A Known Classic That Never Seems To Age. Date Unknown (1920s?)

A Known Classic That Never Seems To Age. Date Unknown (1920s?)

Arnmaran Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

One century ago and still nothing changed :(1

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#2

Help Keep Your School All American! [1950]

Help Keep Your School All American! [1950]

I_like_maps Report

NsG
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow, that lesson got buried quick!1

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#3

We Don’t Always March Straight, Swedish Armed Forces Gay Pride Poster, 2018

We Don’t Always March Straight, Swedish Armed Forces Gay Pride Poster, 2018

TheOther36 Report

Scagsy
Community Member
1 month ago

I think that's a pretty good recruitment drive. Good job Sweden.1

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#4

Barbarity vs. Civilisation, By René Georges Hermann-Paul, 1899

Barbarity vs. Civilisation, By René Georges Hermann-Paul, 1899

asheikh11 Report

third molar
Community Member
1 month ago

Imperialism in one image1

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#5

Anti-Vac Comic From The 1940s. Stupidity Is Timeless.

Anti-Vac Comic From The 1940s. Stupidity Is Timeless.

T3SKULLBREAK Report

third molar
Community Member
1 month ago

Still no cure or vaccinations for stupidity :(1

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#6

Poster Distributed By Youthbuilders, The Student Group From New York City's Ps 43, To Protest Segregated Blood Banks, Produced In 1945.

Poster Distributed By Youthbuilders, The Student Group From New York City's Ps 43, To Protest Segregated Blood Banks, Produced In 1945.

throughmethroughyou Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes. it's all red. To quote my mom.1

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#7

Anti-American Poster, Ussr, 1960

Anti-American Poster, Ussr, 1960

DmitryZaytcev Report

Mars Lander
Community Member
1 month ago

Man, how well they know us1

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#8

Dc Statehood Poster (2006)

Dc Statehood Poster (2006)

TrueBirch Report

Mars Lander
Community Member
1 month ago

this needs to change1

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#9

American Freedom. Soviet Union, 1960s

American Freedom. Soviet Union, 1960s

edikl Report

Michael Se
Community Member
1 month ago

They aren't wrong.1

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#10

"News-Leak Embarrasses White House" 1972.

"News-Leak Embarrasses White House" 1972.

[deleted] Report

Lorraine R
Community Member
1 month ago

Ah, yes, the Nixon years . . . .1

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#11

"The First Lesson" - Ussr, 1964.

"The First Lesson" - Ussr, 1964.

WillManhunter Report

Mars Lander
Community Member
1 month ago

This artist hits it. Every. Time. No wonder they were our biggest enemy, we didn't want them blasting our truths like that.1

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#12

The Only Good Nazi Is A Dead Nazi 1945

The Only Good Nazi Is A Dead Nazi 1945

70sTimewarp58 Report

Francis
Community Member
1 month ago

as a german i agree ...1

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#13

"Basement With Supplies" / Ussr, 1973

"Basement With Supplies" / Ussr, 1973

soviet_posters Report

Michael Se
Community Member
1 month ago

They still aren't wrong.1

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#14

This Patient Is Hopeless. He Was Diagnosed With A Complete Lack Of Dollars. Soviet Union, 1950s

This Patient Is Hopeless. He Was Diagnosed With A Complete Lack Of Dollars. Soviet Union, 1950s

atotalfuckingfailure Report

Betty Vanderhooven-SchmaaSchmaa
Community Member
1 month ago

American healthcare?1

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#15

"Evolution?" // Anti- Nuclear War Poster (1970s Ussr)

"Evolution?" // Anti- Nuclear War Poster (1970s Ussr)

ManOfReasonCC Report

NsG
Community Member
1 month ago

Isn't that an Einstein quote?: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones"1

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#16

“...they Don’t Really Seem To Know Why They Are Protesting!” USA, 2011

“...they Don’t Really Seem To Know Why They Are Protesting!” USA, 2011

EssoEssex Report

third molar
Community Member
1 month ago

Leaked memo from fox1

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#17

"Nuclear War", Soviet Union, C. 1980s

"Nuclear War", Soviet Union, C. 1980s

Zzyzwicz_ Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
1 month ago

That's excellent imagery.1

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#18

“Rationing Means A Fair Share For All Of Us” - USA, 1940s

“Rationing Means A Fair Share For All Of Us” - USA, 1940s

EssoEssex Report

Chrissy Neibarger
Community Member
1 month ago

I can't imagine the riots that would occur if this happened today. Too many selfish people now-a-days.1

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#19

United States During World War I (1917)

United States During World War I (1917)

AntergosLinux Report

Betty Vanderhooven-SchmaaSchmaa
Community Member
1 month ago

Looks like nothing has changed.1

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#20

Pro-Child Labor Poster ~1915

Pro-Child Labor Poster ~1915

vulverine Report

third molar
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow. Capitalism is so cunning.....1

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#21

"Tax The Loafer - Not The Loaf" - Britain, 1920s

"Tax The Loafer - Not The Loaf" - Britain, 1920s

1stDegreeBoo-Urns Report

Lynne Stark
Community Member
1 month ago

Many states in the USA still tax food.1

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#22

Brazilian Cartoon On Us Presidential Election 2008

Brazilian Cartoon On Us Presidential Election 2008

SpaceDetective Report

Emma Byrne
Community Member
1 month ago

Accurate.1

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#23

"Telling A Friend May Mean Telling The Enemy" - UK, Wwii.

"Telling A Friend May Mean Telling The Enemy" - UK, Wwii.

frecklefactor Report

Adam Belaire
Community Member
1 month ago

Come, Boris! Lucille Ball has told me where to find Moose and Squirrel.1

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#24

"Don't Throw Stones", Iraq, 2004

"Don't Throw Stones", Iraq, 2004

buzzkill_chad Report

Miss Cris
Community Member
1 month ago

The fact that it's needed.1

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#25

1900s, Anti-Feminist Poster.

1900s, Anti-Feminist Poster.

throughmethroughyou Report

Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
1 month ago

And this one REALLY hasn't changed all that much. To this very day "Well you're just ugly and no man wants you!" is a line you hear all too often when a woman stands up for her rights. Or is outspoken in general, really. Because, y'know, being attractive to men is the be-all and end-all of a woman's existence. Sigh.1

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#26

2009 Net Neutrality Poster

2009 Net Neutrality Poster

skabeteber Report

Bacony Cakes
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

Ajit Pai? More like A Sh*t Pile. Support net neutrality.1

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#27

Hitler Youth Poster (1930s) And American Meat Industry Poster (1980s)

Hitler Youth Poster (1930s) And American Meat Industry Poster (1980s)

Unleashtheducks Report

Red Ruffensor
Community Member
1 month ago

Look at those two, it can't possibly be a coincidence.1

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#28

Don't Go To Spain (UK, 1970s)

Don't Go To Spain (UK, 1970s)

purpleaardvark1 Report

Fred L.
Community Member
1 month ago

So sad that Spain had to endure Franco for such a long time.1

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#29

"Diplomacy, The American Way", Ussr, 1986

"Diplomacy, The American Way", Ussr, 1986

Geeglio Report

I I
Community Member
1 month ago

also the Russian way1

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#30

Hoarders, Panic Buyers, Shame On You! (Nazi Germany, 1942)

Hoarders, Panic Buyers, Shame On You! (Nazi Germany, 1942)

ObjectiveMall Report

Katie Lutesinger
Community Member
1 month ago

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Except for the part about the toilet paper, apparently. :p1

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Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.

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