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Qld Colliery Employees banner from early 20th century, on display as part of centenary of the federating of the mining unions 1915-2015 at Sydney Trades Hall


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.


"United in support but not combined to injure" - slogan adopted by many trade unions in the 19th century