Buy Now! Buy Here! The Rise and Fall of the Patriotic Blue Eagle Emblem, 1933-1935

  • Jason E. Taylor Central Michigan University


The Blue Eagle emblem was created by the Roosevelt Administration in July of 1933 to give firms an incentive to comply with the provisions of the National Industrial Recovery Act. Members of the Administration, including Roosevelt himself encouraged consumers to go on a nationwide shopping spree at Blue Eagle firms and to essentially boycott non-complying firms who were not allowed to display the emblem. While the Blue Eagle has received little attention from economists, most historical accounts of the New Deal, at minimum, make reference to the emblem’s attempt to modify economic behavior. This paper outlines the rise and fall of the emblem as an economic tool. It concludes that the emblem initially had economic meaning, but this began to fade in the late fall of 1933 and the emblem became largely meaningless by the spring of 1934. This conclusion is supported by an analysis of the emblem's presence in newspaper advertisements between 1933 and 1935.