Spanking in political satire and propaganda

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George W. Bush spanked by the Statue of Liberty.

The subject of spanking has often been used methaphorically in political cartoons (such as those printed in newspapers) and other media. Such political cartoons are a special case of spanking cartoons. The spanker and the spankee characters are often caricatures of politicians, but can also stand for abstract concepts such as a nation or the press. The spanking implement symbolize e.g. military action, or a new law passed.


15th to 19th century

The earliest example found so far is from 1631, and there are many from the 15th to 19th century (see images below).

World War I and II

Propaganda postcards from World War I often show the enemy being spanked by the soldiers of the country in which these propaganda postcards were published. They were thought to boost morale.

For more image examples from Germany, 1914, see a separate gallery below.

During World War II there were a number of cartoons and illustrations that mocked Hitler by showing him being punished by the Allies. For example, the published sheet music for "Adolf", a satirical song, bears an illustration of Hitler being spanked by a soldier (see image). A political cartoon about Germany's 1943 defeat at Stalingrad depicts Stalin spanking Hitler over his knee while a school headmaster (representing the Allied Forces), birch rod in hand, approaches.

Modern examples

Trump meets the strop. Artwork by Marilla Thackery (2017).

Modern examples of spanking in political satire include politicians as statues, such as U.S president George W. Bush spanked by the Statue of Liberty.

In a humorous promo video for the 2012 Texas All-State Spanking Party held annually in Dallas, spanking actor Sarah Gregory plays former political candidate Sarah Palin (spanked by Dana Specht). See the video at Spanking Tube.

Another example is a satirical political cartoon from 2019 by Ben Garrison in which Mother Nature spanks climate change activist Greta Thunberg.[1]


Germany 1914 gallery

The following gallery shows German propaganda postcards from the early phase of World War I (1914). So called "Dreschparolen" (thrashing paroles) were at that time very popular. Later, these cards were banned.


  1. * Don't Mess With Mother Nature,
    "Mother Nature" spanks Greta Thunberg, Ben Garrison cartoon, 2019/11

See also