Monday, 16 March 2020

Suffragette Colours, and Roundels …




Well you get asked a question, and off on another rabbit run you go …



The first was ‘the roundel’ – to my surprise is of heraldic ancestry … dating, at least, from the 12th century … more here …


English Heritage's 'blue plaque' -
commemorating a link between that
location and a famous person ...
serving as an historical marker
in the form of a roundel



… too complicated for me to start … but something I’d like to study at some stage … ie understand the symbols, charges, insignias etc …





Seven Kings underground roundel -
the new Elizabeth line colour

The use of roundels predates history, for both personal and group use … which today we’ve seen adopted: for example by our armed forces, civic organisations, and on flags …  in this country the classic to my mind is the London Underground = the tube!





The Maida Vale station
roundel put up to remember
International Women's Day 2020 -
in the Suffragette colours

The Suffragette Movement … another subject I know about insufficiently … the members in 1906 were derided by the press, but embraced the term they were given “suffraGETtes” … implying they not only wanted the vote, but intended to ‘get it’.




Over one hundred years ago women campaigned to win the right to vote. Fundraising became a vital part and success of the suffragette movement … the brand remembered to this day …


Emmeline Pethwick-Lawrence c 1910
Two ‘Emmelines’ were charismatic leaders in the campaign – Emmeline Pankhurst as the main instigator/organiser of the movement, and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence as the Women’s Social and Political Union’s treasurer: she ended up in Government …


Fundraising was an essential for the movement and our second Emmeline (Pethick-Lawrence) was incredibly successful in this enterprise.  She set up the brand colours … distinctive ones, while also ascribing values to them ...


Purple – the royal colour; and for freedom and dignity
White – for purity in private and public life
Green – the colour of hope, new beginnings and the emblem of Spring.


Beautiful earrings in the
suffragette colours
This enabled women from all walks of life to promote their support for the Suffragette movement while wearing the colours – which cultivated a strong emotional connection throughout the membership.





The merchandise ranged from hats, dresses, sashes, jewellery, badges, ribbons, rosettes, postcards, posters  … the whole gambit – whatever would suit the purse …


There were suffragette shops – while producers and merchants also jumped on the band wagon offering innumerable items in purple, white and green … Selfridges, Lilley and Skinner, Derry and Toms … even tricolour underwear?!





There was a weekly newspaper ‘Votes for Women’ – selling advertising space for these suffragette items … their readership was 40,000.


The link below is fascinating … reminding me of so much that we see today … the suffragettes were ahead of their time … it took over 20 years … but in 1928 we won the right to vote … as long as we were 21 – now universal suffrage is 18 years of age – promulgated in 1969.



The Holloway Prison brooch
for those ladies who had
been imprisoned

Thus we have a brief post on the clever fund-raising and brand style of the Suffragette Movement … remembering the courageousness of those early members – who had to endure so much to bring attention to their cause.


This book is available




World War One intervened … but the genie was out of the bottle … women eventually got the vote.








Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

40 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

I have read quite a bit about the suffragettes. They were incredibly courageous and determined women, and I thank them. Admire them, and thank them.

Anabel Marsh said...

I have quite a lot of purple, green and white rosettes and sashes because of my women’s history interest. An alternative explanation of the colours is green, white, violet - the initials standing for give women the vote.

Janie Junebug said...

Thank you for that information, Hilary. You answered my question.

Love,
Janie

Joanne said...

After my grandmother passed, we were looking at some old photos I'd never seen. Sure enough,she was out protesting for women's right to vote. It was very cool and surprising. She'd never talked about that - looking so young too. History - I'm learning to ask more questions of our seniors and getting some first hand tales of yore.

Chatty Crone said...

Thank you - that was interesting - we women have done a lot! :)

Rhodesia said...

What an interesting post as always you enlighten me and I learn so much from you. Hope all is well with you. Stay safe, Diane

Liz A. said...

I knew about white. A bunch of freshmen Congresswomen wore white when they were sworn in. I did not know about purple and green. (The colors of magic...)

Yolanda Renée said...

Very cool! Love the colors. It gives us hope to read of these courageous women! Especially as a female president won't happen, again. But Vice President, good start!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
We owe them so much... YAM xx

Jz said...

I did not know about the colors... but now I'm distracted by the shiny.
I want those earrings!! :-)
(yes, I'm a plebe through and through...)

Hels said...

I greatly admire British women because it took sooo long to get the vote for all women. New Zealand and Australia got there decades earlier and with less pain than Britain, but I assume we in the new world were less tradition-bound.

Thanks for the link
Hels
https://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com/2018/12/some-british-women-got-vote-in-1918.html

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - I've just bought the book I mention ... as it'll give me a full overview ... and I will have time to read. But you so rightly mention they were incredibly courageous and determined ...

@ Anabel - I should have linked over to you ... when I get back I'll do that ... as I remember your interest and your posts on the suffrage movement in Scotland. I'd read the Give Women the Vote as a mnemonic for the Green, White and Violet colours - but forgot to put it in the post - so thank you for reminding us.

@ Janie - that's great ... thanks for coming over and seeing my answer ...

@ Joanne - how wonderful you were able to look through those photos of your grandmother - and find she was out protesting for a woman's vote. I bet it was a snippet of your family's history you never expected to find ... and you could see her in her prime.

Good for you - for asking those questions ... and learning about life back in the day of your grandparents, and presumably even earlier.

@ Sandie - it's interesting to learn how we got here ...

@ Diane - glad you learnt something ... I know Anabel has told us much - and I must add in her link on my return.

@ Liz - interesting to learn about the Congresswomen wearing white when they were sworn in ... while colours do represent emotions don't they ...

@ Renee - I know ... I love that colour combination. The lengths the women went to are quite horrific to think about ... and I would hope more women can get into power and influence society in a wholesome way ...

@ Yam - we do, as you say, owe them so much ...

@ Jz - I've always loved the colours ... but tend to associate them with Wimbledon and tennis - and I agree I love the earrings ... very pretty aren't they. It's fine - probably most of us are 'plebs' at heart ...

@ Hels - I know ... the men did hold us back - and there were other injustices after the war (WW1) ... when women had held the fort at home, but were denied government's support to let the country progress as a whole, rather than regress back to Edwardian and Victorian values ...

I'm sure you've got it right that you were less tradition bound in Australia and New Zealand. Glad you'll enjoy the link.


Thanks everyone - stay safe in these uncertain times ... we all need to be courageous now ... all the best - Hilary

David M. Gascoigne, said...

Good morning Hilary: I actually took an online course recently on the history of the women's suffrage movement, and learned a lot. My admiration for the grit and determination of these pioneering women increased exponentially. It is sad to contemplate that in the 21st Century there are still many places in the world where universal franchise is still not established, and indeed in certain backward, barbaric societies women are barely more than chattels. You blog, Hilary, is always a beacon of education and enlightenment, delivering the very best of what blogs are intended to furnish. Stay safe during this awful CORVID-19 pandemic, and listen to and obey your public health officials. We need you around for a while longer! All the best, David

bazza said...

As Hels mentioned, above, New Zealand and Australia were very early with full enfranchisement for women. The UK was well behind despite having some of the most formidable Suffragettes.
Going a bit off topic: I notice the roundel example you show of Seven Kings station. That station is in way Underground! It's not far from where I live and part of the Overground system into Liverpool Street. The Elizabeth Line will go underground as it gets into Central London. A minor point really...
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s absentmindedly adroit Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Women could vote here in 1920 but I think the age went down to eighteen at about the same time.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I very much admire the work of Suffragettes and Suffragists in gaining the vote for women and somehow their stories keep cropping up in my travels where I'm least expecting them! Heraldry is one of those fields where they go out of their way to make it more complicated than it needs to be by inventing a whole new language to describe simple things.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

You know they went through a lot of grief to fight that battle, but they won.

Jacqui Murray said...

It's amazing to think there was a time when women couldn't vote. I do remember my mother burning her bra when my father refused to stop ordering her around. What a woman she was!

Linda said...

Hi Hilary!
I take my right to vote very seriously. Thankful to all those who won that right for us! Hope you are staying well. Things are changing rapidly here in the States.

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Hilary - Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. I continue to learn a great deal through your posts.

Sandra Cox said...

They were definite heroes and deserve our gratitude. Great recognition post.

DMS said...

I have been learning a lot more about this time period recently. So proud of all the women and men who fought for women's rights. I love that they wore colors to show unity. Thanks for sharing. :)
~Jess

Nilanjana Bose said...

Women of steel and serious substance. I found the Prison Brooch phenomenally moving! In fact, your whole post is that. Young women nowadays don't always vote - they disrespect something that women before them have given their entire lives for!

Denise Covey said...

20 years fighting for the women's vote. Pwish!!! Thanks Hilary!

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Those women were amazing and brave and wenowe the so much

Deborah Weber said...

Love this post Hilary, and kudos all the suffragettes who worked so fiercely and diligently. I'll never think of that color combination again without remembering its association.

Sue McPeak said...

As you know from years in AtoZ, I am a history buff and have used Women's Suffrage as a story line. This post is so interesting and filled with great history. Really enjoyed reading the UK version. Good job. Thanks for stopping by my Reveal post. I hope to see you on the Master List. I missed you last year.
Sue at CollectInTexas Gal

Jo said...

I love those earrings Hilary, I have a fondness for such things and have quite a collection, but those would be a great addition.

One knows about Suffragism, but I have never really studied it either. Never was very big on history when I should have learned such things. Thanks for some information about it. Last night we watched Mary Poppins again and of course Glynis Johns played a suffragette in that movie. Made me think about it a bit and then your post.

Interesting about roundels being from so far back.

Keith's Ramblings said...

My favourite roundel has to be the one on the wall of The Hungry Monk restaurant in Jevington celebrating the birth of the banoffi pie!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ David – how interesting that you took a course on the women’s suffrage movement – I’ve ordered the book I picture – which looked to be informative, without being too highbrow. They were amazing women …

Women deserve better in the world today – you’d have thought we’d have enough sense to realise that treating women as servants or chattels, as you mention, would have been dispensed with by the 21st century. Sadly not so …

Thank you – I love that people seem interested in what appears here! I’ll be around for a while and will take care and be sensible … but really appreciate your caring thoughts …

@ Bazza – I know reading about when other countries got the vote it seems unfair that it took that long for the UK to catch up. There was a definite problem after the War … as the men returned to jobs that the women were doing perfectly well … of course the women were turned out, so the men could get their jobs back?!

Nope – no worries about going off topic – yes the Seven Kings’ station was the only roundel I could easily find … and I realise it’s overground – but it’s the tube system … commonly known as ‘the Underground’ … having just looked: I note that the underground is 45%, while the overground is 55% - I usually only use the central part.

@ Alex – yes I realise other parts of the world were much earlier … I think we live a lot of our lives in the traditional past – hence ‘releasing’ women to vote took a while for men to acknowledge that it might be a fair and a good idea.

@ John – they were quite extraordinary … and very brave – I think we’re more aware of them now as women’s history is being brought to light.

Heraldry too – it is complicated … but if it started a thousand years ago – I guess their only way of communicating to the masses was via stained glass, building, painting or tapestries … printing only coming later … it inevitably became muddled – being absorbed in from so many places. Different leaders and armies not co-ordinating … completely understandable in those days.

@ Diane – they certainly did … ghastly to think what some of them went through …

@ Jacqui – how funny about your mother burning her bra – and you being there to see it … and yes – I suspect you have plenty of her genes.

@ Linda – I know we should vote … and I always do … I’m healthy thank you … and hope to stay that way.

@ Donna – it’s a pleasure … took me a while to get my act into gear. I know I could learn lots from you and wish I was still on VI when we could meet and I could ask all those questions that float around my mind …

@ Sandra – thank you … I’m glad we’re acknowledging those suffragists today and finding out more about them.

@ Jess – oh that’s great you’ve been reading about this period in history. The women were amazing while as you mention there were men supporting them too. I’m so glad I found about the value of the branding and the colours … it was fascinating …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Nila – you’re right ‘women of steel and serious substance’. I had to put the prison brooch into the post – though I’m not sure how many will realise the implications of it – and what happened in the prison … force feeding et al: Really extraordinarily cruel.

Today – we should all vote … and we definitely should respect – some people don’t take stock of what life has given them = don’t value the freedom and opportunity we now have. Thanks for noting that in your comment …

@ Denise – I know over 20 years in fact – it was almost 100 years … still it’s here now – and we need to value that freedom opportunity …

@ Jo-Anne – yes they were brave and we do owe them lots …

@ Deborah – many thanks … the suffragettes were one strong band of women – who allowed us to be free to think and use that freedom today. I love those colours …

@ Sue – thanks good to see you again … I see your creative ideas for your sewing shop – so it’ll be good to tie in occasionally with your AtoZ. Great you appreciated learning about the suffrage developments this side of the pond.

@ Jo – I know those earrings are too beautiful aren’t they – I might fight you for them!

I’ve only got interested in history – in my eclectic way – since I started blogging. Glynis Johns – I didn’t know much about her … but have just looked – glad you were able to link the film and this post together – even lightly.

The roundels being of heraldic origin fascinated me …

@ Keith – you know I’ve never been to The Hungry Monk – but I used to sell their books when I worked at Steamer Trading in Alfriston – when I first came back (early 90s) … and I love banoffi pie!

Thanks everyone – I’m so happy you’re all so interested in what gets put up here … it brings a coziness into my heart – totally appreciating all of you … cheers Hilary

Inger said...

I may have sent that off by mistake as I wasn't finished. I have my neighbor's Guernsey bull in my back yard, dogs barking like mad, so a bit difficult to concentrate.

Anyhow, I'm reading an interesting book about how the English language came to be and how it developed to become the universal language it is today. It's really good.

Inger said...

I guess I lost the first half of my comment, which was that I don't know enough about the suffrage movement either. Your post was a beginning.

Sandra Cox said...

Interesting that roundels predate history.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Thanks for the very informative post. We owe a lot to all of the determined women who preceded us, and the more we modern women know about them, perhaps the less we'll take the right to vote for granted. The right came at a cost.

Interesting about the colors. Not exactly the same, but the wearing of those colors reminded me of how Christians used the shape of as a sign of their faith.

Be well, dear lady. Cheers!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Wow, the suffragettes did merchandising? I hadn’t heard that. As for the colours, I have heard another version - Green, White, Violet stood for - “Get Women the Vote”. 🙂

mail4rosey said...

They were ahead of their time, but thank God for them, and all who came after them to help bring it to fruition. Here to wish you a wonderful day!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Inger - oh that can happen can't it ... so frustrating - but no worries: two parts is fine! Guernsey bulls in the back yard would take my mind of things too! No wonder the dogs were barking.

Where our 'English' language came from is fascinating ... I've a few books here on its development - maybe I'll get to read them now. But I'd love to know the title of your book ... it's obviously totally engaged you.

@ Sandra - thank you ... I think history predates history ... but I get what you mean!

@ Susan - we do owe a huge amount to those women who came before us. There was a cost wasn't there, which is still ongoing - it's been pointed out that there are no women leading our government at this time ... that balance of the way men and women process ideas and ways forwards - are being omitted from the political choices.

Yes - there are lots of parallels to be drawn from our use of symbols throughout history.

@ Sue - thank you - yes finding out how much the branding made a difference to their cause really opened my eyes. Yes - I forgot to put in the Get Women the Vote phrase for the colours ... Anabel reminded me in an earlier comment.

@ Rosey - I do wish it was a bit more to the fore ... I've just been made aware that most of the Cabinet (people who are making the decisions) are men - women have a different perspective on life and should be included to make sure our population is fully represented.

Take care all of you and look after your family, friends relatives as best you can - we need to be positive and help others through. Cheers Hilary

Victoria Marie Lees said...

I always find such interesting topics on your blog. Colors for suffragettes? Interesting. And yes, the earrings are stunning. Thank goodness for these strong and brave women. I love the photos you have in your story. All best to you. Stay safe!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Victoria - many thanks ... yes those suffragettes were ahead of their time - and they were courageous ... some incredibly so - amazing women. I love the colours ... as too the jewellery - thanks for the visit - and yes: stay safe to us all - cheers Hilary