Wearing your allegiance

Badge-wearing has long been a prominent and popular way of proclaiming belief, politics and protest. Tristan Davies visits the new British Museum exhibition of badges and medals to find out what we can learn about past attitudes from these tokens

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This article was first published in the August 2004 issue of BBC History Magazine

‘Stop the War’; ‘Free Kuwait’; ‘Coal Not Dole’; ‘Impeach the (expletive deleted)’; ‘I’m Backing Britain’: they may be slogans on tinny little badges, but they still have the power to take us back through the decades in an instant. One only has to see a red smiley face on a yellow background with the words ‘Atomkraft? Nej tak’, and suddenly it’s 1984 again and we all remember the Danish for ‘Nuclear power? No thanks.’

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