Sunday, 1 February 2015

More VBCW flags

Carrying on from the last post about VBCW, I thought I'd include some flags for socialist factions.

In some ways I'm not very happy about these. In one way, they're fine, they have something of a Russian Civil war quality to them - red flags with some simple logos and some text. I've included red-and-white and red-and-gold flags as some players like to have different socialist factions - I'm assuming that the red-and-gold flags are those of 'official' Communist Party units, while the red-and-white are of units not aligned to the ComIntern; maybe Trotskyists, or aligned with the many other socialist groups of the 1930s.

The legends relate to units likely to make it into my campaign, set aound North Durham - the first flag on sheet 1 is of the South Medomsley Workers' Militia, South Medomsley being a coalmine in North-West Durham; the Oxhill Irregulars flag is fairly self-explanatory, Oxhill being a small settlement near where I went to school; on sheet 2, the first flag refers to the Wardley Branch of the Durham Mineworkers' Union Militia, and the second to the Union of Boiler-makers and Platers, from the shipyards on the Tyne. I made up both the unions, but were something like the VBCW to have happened, my guess is 'Red Guard' units like this based on unions and workplaces would have been formed.

However, the problem I have with these banners is that they really don't represent the traditions of banner-making in British society between the wars. Union branches, Masonic lodges, co-operative societies, brass bands, the Women's Institute, the Boy's Brigade - loads of organisations had banners. People were well used to them, they marched behind them, loads of people must have worked on them. So how come these flags look like they were quickly designed by someone with no graphical talent?

They should really be more like this, I think:

When I work out how to get the scrolly text, elaborate backgrounds and portriature, then perhaps I'll be able to make some banners that really represent the traditions of British banner-making.

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