Pins of the Freedom Movement

Easily-made, low-cost pins were the badges and insignia of the Southern Freedom Movement.

Though they were cheap to make, the price of wearing one could be high. In many places throughout the South, wearing a Movement pin in public irrevocably marked you for good or ill. For local Blacks, wearing a Movement pin in public was an act of defiance, courage, and committment that put you at risk of ostracism, economic retaliation, and violence.

Nationally Circulated Pins From Organizations and Major Events

[We Shall Overcome pin]

 

This pin was widely worn by members of all the Freedom Movement organizations for many years.

[NAACP Legal Defense Fund pin]

 

NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund Inc. pin, circa 1954 & later.

[Support Southern Students SNCC pin]

 

SNCC Sit-in support pin, circa 1960

[MLK Support Student Sit-Ins pin]

 

The Committee to Defend Martin Luther King was formed in 1960 to fight the lawsuit filed against King for the ad he and others ran in the New York Times supporting the sit-ins and to raise bail money for students who had been arrested.

[Support CORE Sit-Ins pin]

 

From the 1960s sit-ins, possibly from New Orleans CORE.

[CORE Freedom Rider pin]

 

Pin wore by the CORE Freedom Riders in circa 1961.

[CORE Freedom Now pin]

 

A CORE pin from the early '60s.

[SNCC pin]

 

Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) pin, 1962 — 1965

[CORE

 

Basic CORE organizational pin. Dates uncertain, but probably from at least 1963 on.

[SNCC We Shall Overcome pin]

 

SNCC pin. Dates uncertain, possibly from as early as 1961 or 1962, in use until 1965 or 1966.

[ACMHR pin]

 

Pin of the Birmingham Movement (Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights), circa 1963.

[March on Washington pin]

 

March on Washington pin, 1963.

[Equal Rights in '63 pin]

 

Probably from the March on Washington in 1963.

[OMOV pin]

 

SNCC Voting Rights pin, circa 1963 — 1965.

[SCLC pin]

 

Southern Christian Leadership Conference pin, from 1963 or 1964.

[I Am a White Agitator pin]

In the early '60s a prominent segregationist (Wallace?) stated that the local "nigras" were just being stirred up from their normal happy and contented state by "white agitators." CORE responded with this satirical pin. (When asked, wearers replied that "CWA" stood for "Congress of White Agitators.")

[Fist pin]

 

From the drawing by SNCC volunteer Frank Cieciorka. This fist symbol was widely used in the mid and late 1960s on pins, flyers, posters, pamphlets, flags, etc.

[NAACP 1964 pin]

 

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People membership pin, circa 1964.

[MFDP pin]

 

Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) pin from some time between 1964 and 1968.

[SCLC pin]

 

Southern Christian Leadership Conference pin, circa 1965 and later.

[SSOC pin]

 

Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) pin, 1965 — 

[CORE pin in African colors]

 

CORE pin in colors used by African liberation movements, late '60s..

[CORE Black Power pin]

 

CORE Black Power pin, 1966 or 1967.

[SCOPE pin]

 

Summer Community Organization Political Education Project (SCOPE) pin from SCLC's summer project in 1965.

[Meredith March pin]

 

Meredith Mississippi March Against Fear pin, Mississippi 1966.

[Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) pin from later '60s]

 

Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) pin from later '60s

[NAACP Youth & College Division pin]

 

NAACP Youth Division pin, circa 1967.

[Poor Peoples Campaign pin]

 

Poor Peoples Campaign pin, circa 1968.

[Poor Peoples Campaign pin]

 

Poor Peoples Campaign pin, circa 1968.

Local Movement Pins

[GROW pin]

 

"Get Rid of Wallace" (GROW) pin wore during Selma Voting Rights Campaign, 1965.

[Forever pin]

 

Segregationists in Alabama and elsewhere wore "Never" pins declaring their opposition to integration and voting rights for Blacks. In response, Movement supporters made up these "Forever" pins. Date unknown, but probably circa 1965.

[CORE 1964 Worlds Fair protest pin]

 

From CORE's protest against job discrimination and other forms of racism at the opening of the New York World's Fair in April of 1964 .

[We Shall Overcome pin]

 

[Unknown] Anyone know where/when this pin is from?

[Let's End 
Discrimination pin]

 

[Unknown] Anyone know where/when this pin is from?

[We Shall Overcome pin]

 

[Unknown] Anyone know where/when this pin is from?

[SCLC pin from the Chicago Freedom Movement, 1966]

 

SCLC pin from Chicago Freedom Movement, 1966

[Maryland Freedom Union pin]

 

Maryland Freedom Union pin, circa 1966. Organization of low-paid nursing home workers who went on strike in Baltimore MD, supported by CORE.

[Grass Rooters Interested in Poverty Elimination pin]

 

Grass Rooters Interested in Poverty Elimination pin, circa 1968. Baltimore?

[We Shall Overcome pin with sun motif]

 

We Shall Overcome pin with sun motif, origin and date unknown.

If you would like to add a pin to this list, email a digital image of the pin (.JPG or .GIF format) to webmaster@crmvet.org.


Copyright ©
(Labor donated)