|Made of cotton sateen with a twisted cotton fringe, this red, white, and blue Women’s suffrage banner is one of the best I’ve encountered. Dating to the period between 1890 and 1920, the text reads:|
Founded in Denver, Colorado in 1883, the Women’s Relief Corps was the women’s auxiliary branch of the Grand Army of the Republic (the GAR). The GAR was the primary association for Union Army, Civil War veterans. It was more Fraternal is nature than today’s Foreign Legion or VFW posts. Members dressed up in Civil War style uniforms, marched in parades, attended reunions, and supported one-another in post-war life. There were GAR sponsored homes specifically for disabled and elderly veterans.
The Women’s Relief Corps complimented the activities of the GAR. Like most of these 19th century fraternal groups, though nearly extinct, it does still exist today. The organization lists its purpose through its pursuit of the following four objectives:
● To “cooperate in doing honor to all those who have patriotically served our country in any war”.
● To “teach patriotism and duties of citizenship, the true history of our country and the love and honor of our flag”.
● To “oppose every tendency or movement that would weaken loyalty to, or make for the destruction or impairment of, our constitutional Union”.
● To “sustain the American principles of representative government, equal rights and impartial justice for all”.
Involvement of the wives of soldiers in the Suffragette movement seems an obvious fit. Many of the wives and daughters of the men who fought would have gained strong will and independence through the act of sustaining households without the support of their male family members.
The banner, itself, is graphically stunning. Most women’s movement textiles are green and purple because these were the official Suffragette colors. Some are yellow, but less were red, white, and blue, which makes the textile easier on the eyes and seems more logical after so many years have passed. The shape reminds me of a spool of thread, which may well be the intended purpose. And the heavy brass-plated rings add to its bold design.
Mounting: The banner has been hand-sewn to 100% cotton twill, black in color, which has been washed and treated to reduce excess dye. An acid-free agent was added to the wash to further set the dye and the fabric was heat-treated for the same purpose. A deep shadow box was built to accommodate the thick textile and the brass rings. This also adds a great deal to its presentation. The mount was placed in a black-painted, hand-gilded and distressed Italian molding. The front is u.v. protective plexiglas.
Jeff R. Bridgman American Antiques, llc
||Phone: (717) 502-1281
||19th Century (1801-1900)|
||There are no significant condition issues.|
||banner: 26.5" x 42.5" frame: 40" x 51"
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