Story: Arts and social engagement

Trade union banners

Unions were among the first groups to use art to convey a collective identity and seek public recognition and support. One medium for this was trade union banners, which union members took on public marches and events. Banners were often elaborate and finely detailed, depicting workers and symbols of the union. Here unionists march behind the Federated Seamen's Union banner in a march to Wellington's Newtown Park during the 1913 waterfront dispute. Zoom in for a detailed look at the banner.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Sydney Charles Smith Collection (PA-Group-00242)
Reference: 1/2-048932-G
Photograph by Sydney Charles Smith

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Arts and social engagement - Colonisation and social change', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 26 June 2022)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 22 Oct 2014