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We have met the enemy…

Anyone fortunate enough to be able to remember Walt Kelly’s Pogo Possum cartoons will know this quote well:

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

The history of the quote is pretty cool. It was first used on an Earth Day poster in 1970. Below are two versions of the original poster. I couldn’t find a better graphic of it online, but I think, with a little work, it could be used on websites, protest signs, etc. 

Be careful, because the quote is a double-edged sword ( a tool Kelly was great at using.) 

Sometimes we are our own enemies. And I don’t me “we” as in “them.” Sometimes the infighting within our ranks holds us back. 

I’m not going to harp on this, because those who can, already know what I mean, and those who don’t know will never be convinced by facts or logic. 

So let’s work on fighting “them” instead. 

It might be nice to use these posters on Earth Day again, although I’m sure people do that every year.

The first two are versions of the 1970 Earth Day Poster. 


Pogo 1970 Earth Day Poster

Pogo 1970 Earth Day Poster


Pogo 1970 Earth Day Poster

Pogo 1970 Earth Day Poster


This one is from the 1971 Earth Day poster:


Pogo 1971 Earth Day poster

Pogo 1971 Earth Day poster

My take on the issue:


We have met the enemy, and he is us.

We have met the enemy, and he is us.


Want to know more about Pogo, the quotation, and the poster? Check out these sites:  ZEROING IN ON THOSE POLLUTERS: WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US, By Walt Kelly. From the foreword to The Pogo Papers, Copyright 1952-53

14 responses so far

14 Responses to “We have met the enemy…”

  1. Carolon Apr 19th 2010 at 7:10 pm

    This is great to know, given the aproaching 40th aniversary of Earth Day! You should publicize the fact that the poster was created by Kelly for the first earth day.

  2. jerry fosteron Feb 21st 2011 at 3:20 pm

    do you know where i can buy this poster

  3. Brianon Feb 21st 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I don’t know where you can get the original. If you want my version, right click on it and download it to your computer and print it out. If you want a higher resolution version of it, e-mail me from the contact tab on this blog, and I’ll e-mail you the hi-res file.

    Keep fighting the good fight,


  4. Brianon Mar 1st 2011 at 3:30 pm

    I don’t have one. I got the image for this post off of google images. It was a low-res .jpg file. Sorry I can’t help you.

  5. J. Cookon Apr 27th 2012 at 11:54 am

    I actually have a signed print of the 1971 Earth Day strip. It’s framed. Probably from the 1980’s. If anyone wants it, I’m willing to sell it. It says print 279/750, and is signed by Selby Kelly (his wife). The frame is ugly and would be a nightmare to ship. I would rather break it down and ship it in a tube. Let me know!I can send you pics and dimensions. (=


  6. Jeffon Jun 10th 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Good day, J. Cook. Do you still have this signed print and are you still willing to sell it?

  7. J.Cookon Jun 11th 2012 at 1:14 am

    I do still have the Earth Day 1971 print signed by Selby Kelly. The original black frame is ugly and slightly bent, but the print is in perfect condition. I do not display it in my home, so I am willing to sell it if you are interested. Please contact me at my email address and I will be more than happy to send you pictures.

  8. Dena Bon Nov 28th 2013 at 4:35 pm


    I realize that this is an old thread, but I’m wondering if you could email me that hi-res version of the poster you were telling Jerry about. I’ve been looking for the poster online and have been unable to find one to buy, so next best is printing my own!

    Let me know.


  9. Dave Cannonon Feb 7th 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Hello Brian,

    I’m currently writing a book with a huge environmental message, and the quote by Pogo has always held a special place in my heart. Consequently, it’s the focus of the book.

    Would you please send me the high resolution file with that quote?



  10. Brianon Feb 7th 2015 at 7:49 pm

    It turns out that I do NOT have a hi-res version of this. My bad. I got it off google images as a low res jpg.

  11. Dorison Apr 20th 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Was wondering if anyone is making these posters. I have a T-shirt with that picture of PoGo and that saying. This was a satire, as all of PoGo was…McArthur said: “We have met the enemy and he is ours.”

  12. pat o'brienon Aug 6th 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Would like to use your version of the Pogo Earth Day poster in an article I’m writing for NPS entitled “The Nature of Culture and the Culture of Nature”–will credit, of course–let me know and thanks!

  13. Brianon Sep 30th 2015 at 7:23 am

    Sorry to get back to you so late. Just saw the comment. If you mean the one with the fracking rig, go ahead, but the others are originals, and I’ve added nothing to them, so I can’t really claim them.

  14. Michele McCormickon Oct 27th 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I have a museum-quality version of this poster, number 400/750, signed by Selby Kelly. I am interested in selling it.

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