Sphere Magazine

Sphere Magazine 1919

Sphere Cover

Above: The February 1st
1919 issue of the Sphere.
(an illustrated newspaper
for the home).

Published months after the
end of the Great War. The
magazine features Nike as
a symbol of victory in two
illustrations:

'The Victory of the Allies'
(Gallery image 8) This is
a centre page full colour
spread. (artist: F. Matania).

'Comrades in Arms
during the Great Fight'
(Gallery image 9)

Finally in the advertising
section we see Nike as an
Icon for safety razors.
(Gallery: last image)

Nike and War

NIKE AND WAR

World War one in Europe smashed up a generation. The deep human
need to recognise this event and to memorialise the fallen led us to adapt
Nike into the role of an 'Angel of Victory'.

Symbols are very powerful in achieving this, especially a universal symbol of
victory, one utmost associated with struggle and war, and later on as a
symbol of peace.

In the united Kingdom and indeed worldwide, the history of the struggle for victory in Europe
during the first world war is deep within the psyche of man. No more so than the poets and
writers as well as the common men who found themselves in bloody trench conflict for four years.

War memorials have an ancient pedigree, indeed one of the most famous in history comes form
Hellas. The Greek victory over the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC set a
standard that we have inherited today, especially to commemorate armed conflict.

That we should turn to the world of classical antiquity to symbolise and confirm Victory, to
commemorate the dead and console us for our lost and wounded says a lot about humanity.

That we adopted Nike as a symbol of victory and later as the feminine icon of peace is astonishing.
Nike's image was by now adapted into Christianity. But also separate from it historically. Nike now
had a dual nature, one as the symbol of victory in war. Secondly in Christian iconography as
a heaven sent ministering angel of peace over the glorious dead and wounded.

Throughout the UK you will find Nike represented as a symbol of Victory. Also as an
Angel of peace. Towns and villages from Chichester to Manchester. World wide - Canada,
the USA - as well as central Europe have all erected statues of Nike on memorials
to commemorate those lost in conflict. Our gallery below is a selection of war memorials
in the United Kingdom.

Nike is still with us - from over two and a half millenia ago shows how important a role she still has
in the life of humanity, and will always have to us.

Gallery above:
1. Blackley War memorial, Manchester (UK).
2. Stand War memorial, Whitefield, Lancashire (UK).
3. Ashton War memorial, Manchester (UK).
4. Spa Green War memorial, Islington, London.
5. The Prudential Assurance World War I memorial, High Holborn, London.
6. Irlam and Cadishead War memorial, Manchester (UK).
7. Royal Artillery Boer War memorial. London.
8, 9, 10: Nike and 'Allied Victors' from 'The Sphere' magazine 1919.