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Political badges and T-shirts July 2, 2022

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Anyone a fan of political badges? Not only for collection (and IEL has a remarkable collection of same) but for wearing?

Back in the day, the WP did a nice Starry Plough enamelled badge but I don’t know where my one got to. Going through some old badges, I discovered a hammer and sickle one which I have no memory of wearing. Red stars were common but a bit too common perhaps? Badges were such a 1980s thing, though, or at least so they appeared, with music and political ones very popular across the decade.

Here’s a nice example a friend sent a link to…


Then there are T-shirts. Many many years ago I had a hammer and sickle T-shirt which I think I bought in the famous lefty bookshop in London down off Leicester Square whose name escapes me. Given it was 1990 or so that was almost an historical item by the time I actually wore it. I’ve a nice Vietnamese yellow star on a red background one but that’s the limit of my political T-shirts and, rather like the music T-shirts, I don’t have a real use for them outside the house.

What of others?


1. Wes Ferry - July 2, 2022

Collets Political Bookshop was the shop on Charing Cross Road you’re thinking of, WBS.

I think it closed in the early 1990s but it was a weekly pilgrimage for yours truly in the 1970s to pick up the latest Irish republican and lefty publications (as it was weekly for someone from the Special Branch at New Scotland Yard).

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WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2022

That’s the one! I was the same in the very early 90s – if did close didn’t it?


AdoPerry - July 2, 2022

Collets- that’s a blast from the past . A regular visit and a bag full of leftie publications. Ah…the innocence of youth😀

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WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2022

+1 It’s wasn’t cheap either to have this sort of interest. Between politics and music alcohol came a very distant third.


2. roddy - July 2, 2022

Political badges were quite a thing up here from my childhood days on. They were also very risky things to display even pre troubles. Sporting an Easter lily was considered to be a powerful act of defiance whilst displaying an enamel tricolour badge was off the scale in terms of sticking it to the state. .I remember myself and my brother going to primary school with “Craig must go” stickers on our jumpers,Craig being the Unionist Home Affairs minister in the early days of the Civil Rights struggle.Our eldest sister provided us with the stickers,she being a member of the pre split Republican movement.(Which had no connection with the Civil Rights movement at all at all!)

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3. Gearóid Clár - July 2, 2022

I remember getting in trouble for having a Che Guevara t-shirt around 2003, good times. Mind you, our principal used to try to get us to cut our hair too when it was long. I remember wearing a lily one year, probably leaving cert, and being told that specifically political insignia wasn’t allowed.

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WorldbyStorm - July 2, 2022

I repeated the leaving cert in a place that didn’t allow it below the collar whereas at my school previously it was never a problem. Speaking of political insignia a good number of our teachers went around with black armbands during H-Block but that was about it IIRC.


banjoagbeanjoe - July 4, 2022

Iirc the Principal approached one of those teachers and relayed to her a concern expressed to him from a parent about teachers making political statements with what they wore. She left the black armband at home the next day and came in dressed in black from head to toe.


4. lcox - July 4, 2022

Quay Co-op in Cork has a framed white T-shirt with a wonderful array of feminist, LGBTQ+ etc badges – works very nicely as a way of display which I for one hadn’t seen before.

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