The topic of the month at Culture Themes is museum badges, something that we are very lucky to have in abundance! We hold badges, brooches, pins and tokens from the French Revolution right up our own very fabulous PHM badges.IMG_1181

On a recent trip to our stores, I took a few images of a selection of badges I thought were topical/ interesting/ amusing! Some badges still have a certain resonance with issues and problems very relevant to contemporary society.

With the NHS very much in the headlines this week, this badge illustrates that it has been under fire before, and some groups have been keen to defend it. NHS

Our recent blog post looked at the NUT March in Manchester at the end of June this year, this badge shows that similar problems still face schools today as they did in the 1980s. Save our schools

The popular campaign for the release of Nelson Mandela from prison gathered pace in 1988 – the year of his 70th birthday – under the slogan ‘Free Nelson Mandela’.

Free Nelson Mandela

The late 1970s saw Rock Against Racism and the Anti-Nazi League fight racism and all kinds of oppression. The ANL looked to appeal to as many different people as possible such as football fans, students, skateboarders and vegetarians- as this badge illustrates! Patrons of a pub in Rusholme, Manchester, even set up their own group, ‘The Albert Against the Nazis’, with a badge and banner.


The 1980s resurgent anti-nuclear movement took this sentiment and used humour to appeal to an even greater number of people. Cat Lovers against the Bomb represents a number of such CND badges, including ‘Morris Dancers against the Bomb’, and ‘Gardeners for a Nuclear Free Fuchsia!’

Cat Lovers

These badges certainly point out the fact that there have ‘always been ideas worth fighting for’. What badge would you wear with pride? Have you got any images or memories of badges you have worn in the past? If you are sadly badge-less you can come and make one on our badge maker in Main Gallery Two!


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