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Oldham Trades Council Banner

circa 1890

This trade union banner shows a figure of Justice standing in an industrial landscape. On the reverse, there is a painted central panel illustrating the saying ‘UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL’.

This large and impressive object shows the wealth and influence of organised labour in the area.  It was designed for use on parades as a symbol of Trades Union power.  Parades in which this banner featured included large scale civic events such as celebrations of coronations which showed how the Trades Council had become an established feature of Oldham life.

The banner was made by a specialist Manchester firm around 1890 for Oldham & District Amalgamated Trades Council. The 1857 date on the banner itself is inaccurate – the council was formed in 1867 but claimed an earlier birth date to make them seem more established.