China in Uniform

Mao Zedong was the communist leader of China and the founder of the People’s Republic of China. With Mao’s leadership came strict principles, one of these principles being, a nation in uniform. The uniforms worn identified the people in China during Mao’s regime. Workers, peasants, and soldiers (the socialist model) were clearly identifiable. In the picture shown the centralized focus is on the socialist model.


The idea of a nation in uniform is clearly illustrated in the propaganda poster. This image is an example of Mao’s ideal collective body.

The dominating color throughout the poster is red. Behind the five main people there appears to be a sea of red, which one can assume are the books that the five figures in front are holding. The man on the right is wearing a Mao suit, the man on the far left is in what looks like a military uniform the same as the woman on the far right. The two figures in the foreground of the poster are wearing clothes that could potentially belong to those with a lower socioeconomic status. Everyone in the poster appears very happy, almost as if they’re rejoicing.

If analyzed connotatively the red books are a patriotic symbol. The people in the image are holding them in the air as if they’re celebrating Mao’s unified nation. The other red accents throughout the image strengthen the viewer’s idea of the uniformity of the people in China. The five people that dominate the poster are the most symbolic aspects. These people symbolize Mao’s socialist model: workers, peasants, and soldiers. Although they are not all wearing the same uniform they symbolize a typical uniform for each class. The figure on the far left is wearing a Mao suit which one can connate is a symbol for a worker. The two figures in a green uniform are symbols for the soldiers. Lastly the two figures in the foreground of the poster symbolize the peasants.  good but further clarify the incorporation of the color red and socialist collective body/identity

A nation in uniform was a strong principle during Mao’s regime. There was also an effort for gender norms to be broken, so at times it is difficult to even tell if it is a woman or a man in certain images because everybody wears the same or similar uniforms. This concept helps support the idea of one national body in China. Throughout Mao’s regime there were many propaganda posters similar to this one that were produced, making China seam idyllic, and in this case making the viewer believe that China is one collective body. the second part, “nation in uniform in terms of gender” needs more support.

Photo citation:
“Mao, Jiang Qing, Lin Biao (1966-1972).” Long Live Chairman Mao! Long, Long Live! Accessed March 30, 2016.