This is a unique historic artifact from the South of Poland. A marching banner celebrating the withdrawal of oppressors from a hotly contested industrial town. One that had been subject to occupation by German forces in both World Wars.
The banner is tasselled at the edges and embroidered on both sides with bullion thread.
On one side (red), the Polish words for “Union (of) Fighters for Freedom & Democracy” is found above the city name “Katowice” (capital of the province of Silesia).
On the other side (green) the dates of occupation “1905 – 1945” can be read in a silver cross with the Polish words for “Peace, Liberty & Socialism”.
At the centre of the cross is the Polish crest, a white eagle argent, however its royal crown has not been included on this socialist banner.
Behind the cross, are two embroidered depictions of flags; one red socialist flag is hoisted beside the Polish national flag. Below is a slogan that reads, again obviously, in Polish “Your Liberty Is Ours”.
The centrepieces on both sides of the banner are surrounded by quite beautifully embroidered wreaths (detail pictured), the level of craftsmanship with different gauges of bullion purl is very apparent here.
The banner attaches with eyelets to a sturdy wooden staff which was designed to be extended with smart threaded collars fashioned from steel (no doubt from the steelworks Katowice was famed for).
The staff has a steel head-stock and mounted upon that is an aluminium cast eagle with spread wings.
~ Dimensions ~
The banner is 36.2 inches (92cm) by 36.2 inches (92 cm).
When fully extended, the height of the staff is 104.3 inches (265 cm)
It weighs 5.94 Kg overall.
~ Condition ~
The piece has been preserved well, there may have once been a name plate on the head-stock as what appear to be two small fixture holes can be found there.
There is light staining to the fabric of the flag possibly from weathering when marched.
The red thread, used in the depictions of flags, has faded to a champagne colour, otherwise the piece is in very good condition.