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Technically, Uncle Sam is just the personification of our government. Our nation is Columbia.
) She was used a lot during World War I and the Western Expansion to represent freedom, so a lot of political cartoons used her to show support for racial equality, black suffrage, veterans' rights, etc. Uncle Sam was strictly more of a recruiting tool and a symbol of patriotism, which is why he was on most of the recruitment/war bond adverts during both World Wars. Columbia is also at least a century older than Uncle Sam is.