"Americanism is an unfailing love of country: loyalty to its institutions and ideals; eagerness to defend it against all enemies; undivided allegiance to the flag; and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity."
This was the definition adopted during the late 1920's or early 1930's by the Commanders-in-Chief of the VFW and national commanders of four other veteran's organizations. But long before these leaders agreed on this definition, the VFW had founded its own Americanism program based on the principles of its constitution.
The program got its start under Captain Walter I. Joyce on March 1, 1921. As Chairman of the Committee on Americanization, Joyce embarked on an aggressive campaign to stir up patriotism across the United States. His early efforts were aimed at furthering the goals of the VFW Creed he had developed himself. This creed, adopted by the National Council of Administration in January 1921, declared that the VFW would:
Our programs support our service members while they are on the front line, as they are being discharged and long after they return. Your tax-deductible donation will be immediately directed to the VFW programs where your support is most urgently needed.