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Lefty

Help needed: is this a Masonic item?

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Hi members

Can someone please confirm whether this is a Masonic item? It's 78 x 95 mm. 

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P1320672.thumb.JPG.d70a34e6dd9180366734d8a897ee8d02.JPG

Regards

Lefty (Cape Town)

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No, it is not a masonic item.  A long time ago, badges with hands clasped together were used mainly by three kinds of organizations... workers trade unions, fraternal organizations, and socialist/communist labor movements.  The DSP of Germany for example used this symbol a great deal to represent unity between the rural peasants and the factory workers.  

The motto "United we stand, divided we fall" along with the buckled belt leads me to believe your badge or pendant belonged to a member of a socialist labor movement.  I also noticed that the hands are black.  This is no accident.  The group was probably an early organization of black workers or black socialists/communists. 

I notice that you are from Cape Town.  I assume you are aware that from 1919 to 1950 your country had a fairly strong communist party.  They were successfully recruiting black workers from the factories, farms, mines, and the black freedom movement.  They were heavily interacting with the American communist party that was also recruiting black workers. 

I'll bet one of those black South African communists wore this pendant or badge back then.  The two black hands probably represent the close relationship developed between South African black communists and American black communists. 

Edited by Simius Rex

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Thanks for the extensive reply, Simius Rex!

 

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On 05/12/2019 at 05:26, Lefty said:

Hi members

Can someone please confirm whether this is a Masonic item? It's 78 x 95 mm. 

P1320670.thumb.JPG.9ea5c8532f8e66092b09c3ee7419317b.JPG

P1320672.thumb.JPG.d70a34e6dd9180366734d8a897ee8d02.JPG

Regards

Lefty (Cape Town)

 

Lefty

its not a Masonic motto, so probably not

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It is a Friendly Society badge, probably Oddfellows. The giveaway is the hand with a heart in it at the top (on the right in the upper photograph: the badge is sideways), and I think the hands are black toned silver rather than having any racial overtones. I suspect the centre has been rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.

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