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Suffragette Banner

This banner, demanding the right to vote for women, was unfurled from the Ladies Gallery in the chamber of the House of Commons by suffragettes during a protest on 28 October 1908. The banner comprises a printed handbill pasted onto cloth and mounted on bamboo sticks. Suffragettes smuggled the banner into the Ladies Gallery, passed it through the grille that covered the window and unfurled it into the debating chamber. During this incident, two of the women chained themselves to the grille and had to be cut free. The banner is seen as being both a literal and metaphorical representation of the protests made by women behind the grille.

Banners were an important feature in suffragette marches and helped to distinguish between groups. Many banners were made of simple white cotton or calico, with lettering in black, but others were very colourful and woven from a variety of materials.

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