This 1949 Superman poster about patriotism is going viral because it's more relevant than ever.

This 1949 Superman poster about patriotism is going viral because it's more relevant than ever.
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A viral image that's been circulating around the Internet recently is hardly new—in fact, it's 66 years old. But it's as relevant now as it's ever been.

The image is a public service poster intended for American schools, featuring Superman lecturing a group of well-scrubbed young people about what it truly means to be "all American." And although the presentation may be corny in a uniquely baby boom way, the message is surprisingly progressive. And it's one that many people in 2015 still haven't learned.

Superman says:

…And remember, boys and girls, your school—like our country—is made up of Americans of many different races, religions and national origins. So… if YOU hear anybody talk against a schoolmate or anyone else because of his religion, race or national origin—don’t wait: tell him THAT KIND OF TALK IS UN-AMERICAN.

The Huffington Post did some investigative work to track down the origins of the poster. The copyright date on the image is 1956, but a black-and-white version available elsewhere had a copyright from 1949. It was originally distributed by the Institute for American Democracy, an offshoot of the Anti-Defamation League. The intent is clear—to mend America's deeply-rooted prejudices in that troubled but optimistic period between World War II and the Civil Rights era.

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Looks like it didn't work. With major presidential candidates advocating for deporting immigrants and closing the door on refugees in a way not seen since before WWII, it's almost like we've taken a step backward. And it's hardly Superman's fault—people don't even like his movies anymore.

Maybe what the country needs is a hefty dose of inspiration from a classic, non-gritty Superman. And a less-ugly Batman costume. But that's beside the point.

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