Italy's First Cockade

The world was facing violent unrest in 1794. Across the globe, monarchical dictatorships grew more oppressive, the power of the papal despotism was growing - and the people were revolting.

The French Revolution was in full swing and France was pretty much at war with the world. Napoleon would justly win fame as a world-class military leader through these wars, but his success was also due to another factor: Many countries were already facing internal revolution. When his army approached, he was often greeted by friendly revolutionaries trying to overthrow their own oppressive government.

Which brings us to Italy – and the dramatic story of their first cockade.

Young Plotters

Italy was fragmented and largely ruled by absolutist foreign powers in the late 1700s. Consequently, there was much unrest and protest among the people, particularly against the power of the papacy and the Holy Inquisition. Two of these protesters, young university students, were to go down in Italian history: Giovanni Battista De Rolandis and Luigi Zamboni.

De Rolandis and Zamboni were planning a revolution. But Napoleon was approaching the Italian borders, so De Rolandis’ and Zamboni’s friends urged them to wait, in order to receive help from Napoleon's army. Young and impatient, they disliked the idea of perhaps another year or two of grinding oppression… and they also disliked the idea of French interference in Italian affairs.

Conspirators' Cockades

So they continued anyway. They created a network, not only plotting an overthrow of the current government, but also arranging for a new government to be immediately set up. They set a date for their uprising. And to provide a badge of identification, they created a tricolor cockade.

This cockade was based on the French tricolor of red, white and blue, just as their ideals were based on French republicanism. But not wanting to copy the French exactly, they substituted green for blue, as the universal symbol of “hope.” Subsequent records indicate that Zamboni's mother and aunt sewed the cockades.

The uprising was initiated on November 13. But on November 14, a gathering of these plotters was betrayed and the students were arrested by the papal police. Both were tortured to try and find out who else was involved in the plot. Neither gave in, however. The following summer, Zamboni committed suicide in prison and De Rolandis was hanged. Zamboni's mother and aunt, along with his father, also suffered death for their part in the uprising.

When the papal police crushed the initial uprising, they tried to destroy all of the patriots’ cockades. But one survived, and is now considered an Italian national treasure. It is still the property of the De Rolandis family who allows it to be displayed in national museums. This is a picture of it.

Napoleon's Ratification

When Napoleon’s troops did finally arrive the following year in 1796, he was greeted as a savior from oppression by many of the Italian people. In a grand ceremony, Napoleon presented the military of the new Italian republic with a flag. It was the flag we know today, stripes of red, white and green. And the reason for those colors? They were based on the cockades of the two patriotic students, De Rolandis and Zamboni. “Since they chose these three colors, so let them be,” Napoleon declared.

Symbol of Patriotism

Italian poets ever since have rhapsodized about the symbolism of the colors. In the 1790s, the colors were equated with the republican virtues of liberty, equality and fraternity. In religious lore, faith, hope and charity have always been symbolized by white, green and red. Other poets say these colors symbolize Italy’s land – the white snow of the Alps, the green grass of the valleys, and red fire of the volcanoes.

But the ultimate symbolism of the colors comes from the cockades of two young men and their families who refused to submit to oppression and gave their lives for the freedom of their people.

If you want to read more about this stirring story from history, this is a good article to start with. (Warning: It's in Italian.)

Campaign Badges From History

It's campaign season!

If you're like me, you're probably getting tired of seeing and hearing campaign ads everywhere. They all seem to say the same things over and over, don't they?

Just for fun, I thought we could go back in history and look at something more interesting (and entertaining!) - campaign badges!

Political Police

If you think politics are rowdy now, you should have seen the 1860s! Riots, disruptions, brawls and beatings were often seen at political rallies. That's why the "Wide Awakes" were formed - to "protect" Republican party members at political meetings. Of course, they didn't mind doing a little rough stuff themselves to the other side, but their 1860 Mission Statement sounded quite virtuous:

To act as a political police. To do escort duty to all prominent Republican speakers who visit our place to address our citizens. To attend all public meetings in a body and see that order is kept and that the speaker and meeting is not disturbed. To attend the polls and see that justice is done to every legal voter. To conduct themselves in such a manner as to induce all Republicans to join them. To be a body joined together in large numbers to work for the good of the Republican Ticket.

A Mark For the Enemy

May 30th 1861

Dear Brother
I take my pen in hand this morning to write you a few lines....Hutchens are all unionists I believe even to the women Some of us got to arguing with Eliza yesterday but we might as well have tried to make her believe that the sun shines here in the night as to make a secessionist of her, and this is the way with all the unionists Tell John Beard he must try to make a secessionist of his father and Sam. ...Thomas have you received your secession badge yet Hannah was telling us that she had made one for you but Ma told her she ought not to have done it as it would be a mark for the enemy to shoot at. You must excuse all these mistakes scratches & blotches in this nor you must not criticise it so closely as you used to do

I remain your affectionate sister

Mary A Smiley

We Will Print No Badges

Debate raged hotly in 1863-64 between the War Democrats and the Peace Democrats, also called Copperheads. In Ohio, in particular, tempers were high between John Brough (War Democrat) and Clement Vallandigham (Peace Democrat) who were both running for govnernor. I guess the "Tiffin Weekly Tribune's" position was pretty clear from the following statement:

The War Democrats of Ohio have cut loose from the Copperheads. They met in State Convention at Columbus a week ago, and took strong grounds in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war; sustained the National Administration and the soldiers in the field, and condemned the nomination and the course of Vallandigham. No Nominations were made. The Ohio war Democrats generally, will support Brough.

Don’t Laugh:—“We will print no Vallandigham badges on the day of the Brough meetings.”—Advertiser.

If you do, you must have a hard check, after such disgraceful proceedings on that 18th. The idea of printing badges for a traitor to his country - a man that was banished from his native State for treason! O, shame, where is thy blush!

Hogarth's 1754 "The Polling," shows both
buff and blue flags and cockades
British Cockades and Corruption

But angst over political badges wasn't confined just to the United States. There were rows over cockades for decades in England. Laws were passed periodically trying to suppress both cockades and corruption, as evidenced by this quote:

"Mr. Lockhart said (March 2d, 1818,) that he approved of the general principle of the (election laws amendment) bill, especially that part forbidding the distribution of cockades. He had known 30,000 cockades given away at an election, and this signal of party was thus made an engine of bribery, not to the multitude at large, but towards persons of particular trades."

Several decades later, Charles Dickens noted the quarrel over cockades and corruption was still raging. In his Household Words in August 1853, tongue firmly in cheek, he noted humorously:

FLAGS, pennons, banners, bribery, beer, cockades, rosettes, brass bands and bludgeons being manifestly contrary and inimical to virtue, are to be abolished by the strong arm of the law. They are not in themselves, as things, essentially immoral; but they are vicious, when taken in connection with the election of members to the Commons House of Parliament. That assembly, confessed to be composed of the collective wisdom of the nation, has perhaps been held to include also the collective national virtue; and with this view, a Bill has been introduced, and is now before the House relating to expenses at elections, in which war to the knife is waged against every species of flag, banner, rosette, cockade, colour, or procession, which might dare to flaunt its drapery during, or immediately before or after, an election. The game is up. The flags must be furled.

In case you're wondering, the law was passed in 1854 and states the following:

An Act to consolidate and amend the Laws relating to Bribery, Treating, and undue Influence at Elections of Members of Parliament. 10th August 1854.

Section VII: No Candidate before, during, or after any Election shall in regard to such Election, by himself or Agent, directly or indirectly, give or provide to or for any Person having a Vote at such Election, or to or for any Inhabitant of the County, City, Borough, or Place for which such Election is had, any Cockade, Ribbon or other Mark of Distinction; and every Person so giving or providing shall for every such offence forfeit the Sum of Two Pounds to such Person as shall sue for the same, together with full Costs of Suit; and all Payments within this Act.

Black Cockade Federalists - Horrors!

And for a final example of election furor over cockades, I'll go to my favorite: the 1840 US presidential election. William Henry Harrison, a retired Army general and war hero, was running for president. The black cockade he wore as part of his required US Army uniform had since become synonymous with Federalist party tyranny and was hated by a much of the public. Therefore a violent debate raged in the press as to whether - get ready for this - General Harrison ever wore the black cockade after he retired! Horrors! 

I don't have space for all the hysterical items in the press (you can read some of them in my blog here), but here's just one from the 1840 Columbia (Bloosmburg, PA) Democrat: 

The Boston Courier, a violent Harrison paper, refers to the charge of the democratic presses against Gen. Harrison, that he wore a BLACK COCKADE curing the reign of Terror in 1800 in the following independent manner:

“The Van Buren papers are charging Gen. Harrison with having worn a black cockade during the reign of the elder Adams and parade the testimony of a Mr. Fowler of Kentucky, in support of the Imputation. Well, suppose Gen. Harrison did.  HE COULD NOT HAVE WORN A MORE HONORABLE BADGE, OR SUPPORTED A PURER ADMINISTRATION!”

Support Your Candidate!

Whether you want to "support" a candidate from history or support a candidate today, I'm happy to make a cockade for you!

Search "campaign" to see some of my ready-made designs or contact me for a custom order. I'll be glad to make something for your candidate.

Whether we like rowdy politics or not, we are indeed blessed to be in a country where we can campaign and vote freely! So... go vote!

A Royal Wedding Cockade

On a trip to England in 2012, I brought home a lovely little cream silk cockade with the Prince of Wales feathers in the center. I had no idea what it had been used for, and thought it would be fun to do a little detective work when I got home to discover its past. When I dug into its past - what a fun discovery I made!

In my research I came across this picture showing cockades similar to mine labeled as "wedding favors" from the wedding of Princess Alexandra of Denmark to the Prince of Wales in 1863. As I dug deeper, I found that this wedding was a rather romantic story.

Both Edward and Alexandra were a mere 18 years old when they married in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. They had only met a few times, but the Prince's sister knew Alexandra and thought they would be perfect for each other.

A nervous Alexandra had gone to stay with Queen Victoria, Edward's mother a short time before the wedding. But she won Victoria's heart as she had already won the Prince's and the Queen pronounced her "a pearl."

When Alexandra arrived in England at the end of February, the English people threw a great celebration. After all, a Princess of Wales is pretty rare (there have only been 11 in history)! Eighty thousand people crowded into Gravesend and delightedly watched the nervous young Prince run up the gangway and kiss his beautiful bride-to-be.

Lord Alfred Tennyson wrote a poem in honor of the occasion. Here are the final lines:

Bride of the heir of the kings of the sea - 
O joy to the people and joy to the throne, 
Come to us, love us, and make us your own: 
For Saxon or Dane or Norman we, 
Teuton or Celt, or whatever we be, 
We are each all Dane in our welcome of thee, 

The music at the couple's wedding on March 10 had been composed by Prince Albert, Edward's father. Albert had died a little over a year earlier - in fact, Victoria was still in mourning and not "officially" present for the ceremony (though she watched from above the altar). Nearly everyone there became choked up and the groom was unable to do more than nod when asked if he "would have this woman to be his wife."

The bride's dress was designed by the famous Charles Frederick Worth and was covered with British-made Honiton lace. The lace had emblems of England, Ireland and Scotland in the form of roses, shamrock and thistles. The gown was the first royal wedding dress to be photographed.

In celebration of this joyous national event, ribbons and cockades were worn by everyone. Some were more elaborate than others, but all had the distinguishing mark of the Prince of Wales feathers.

These three cockades were worn in celebration of the event. Note the cockade on the far right. Does it look familiar? In fact, look at it side-by-side with my cockade.

Looks like I've found the story behind my lovely cockade! What do you think?

If you want to read more about the courtship and wedding of Edward and Alexandra, you can see articles here and here.

Announcing - South American Cockades!

There are hundreds of cockades and their accompanying stories in North American history. There are thousands of them in European history. But did you know there are also cockade stories from South America?

I've added a "South America" page to my website and will be adding new countries as I learn the history of their cockades. Here's a few highlights to wet your appetite!


As you may know, in the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, the Pope divided the "New World" between Spain and Portugal. (The rest of Europe disagreed, naturally, and pretty much ignored this treaty.) The line cut through the edge of South America, which meant that for the rest of history most of South America would be Spanish-speaking, while Brazil (over the line) would speak Portuguese.

Brazil’s national cockade draws from its Portuguese history. The traditional symbol and crest of the House of Braganza is a green dragon, representing Saint George, patron saint of Portugal. Pedro I, of the House of Braganza, was Brazil’s first emperor. His wife, Maria Leopoldina, brought the color gold from the House of Habsburg. Thus, green and gold became the national colors.

On September 7, 1822, Brazil declared its independence from Portugal and became Empire of Brazil. A military coup in 1889 established the First Brazilian Republic. In order to keep a feeling of stability to the new regime, the old colors and flag were kept with slight modifications, including the addition of the color blue. So modern Brazilian cockades are green, yellow and blue.


There are many stories about the origin of the Argentine cockade. It's possible it was inherited from the royal house of Bourbon, which has the same color scheme.

When the country revolted against Spanish rule in the early 1800s, a definitive cockade was required to distinguish freedom fighters from Spanish royalists who wore the red cockade. Eventually the Argentine cockade was standardized as light blue, white, light blue, and codified into law in 1812.

In 1935, May 18 was established as National Cockade Day, in honor of the ladies of Buenos Aires who first wore the cockade during the 1810 May Revolution.


During Chile's period of colonization by Spain in the 1600-1700s, the red Spanish cockade was the national emblem. In 1808, Napoleon installed his brother as the king of Spain, which eventually brought about a freedom movement in Chile. The nation was proclaimed an autonomous republic under Spain's protection in 1810. In 1812, a new tricolor cockade was created of white, blue and yellow. As a struggle for power continued for the next five years, the cockade went back and forth from the Spanish red to the Chilean tricolor.

Intermittent warfare continued until 1817 when Bernardo O'Higgins and José de San Martín, hero of the Argentine War of Independence, led an army that crossed the Andes into Chile and defeated the royalists once and for all. On February 12, 1818, Chile was proclaimed an independent republic.

At this point a new tricolor cockade was created of red, white and blue. In the early 20th century, a star was added in the blue center of the cockade to match the national flag.


July 28 is Peru's Independence Day in commemoration of José de San Martín's Declaration of Independence in 1821. The first flag of the Republic of Peru was officially created by General José de San Martín,on October 21, 1820. It's main colors were red and white.

Opinions vary on the symbolism of the colors. Some say San Martín took the red from the flag of Chile and the white from the flag of Argentina, recognizing the heritage of the men of the liberation army. Others believe San Martín reached into Peru's European heritage, bringing red and white from Castile and Burgundy, and red from Spain. Red was also in the royal symbol of the Inca kings.

Simón Bolivar's administration officially decreed a version of the flag from which the modern design is taken, and also established the national red and white cockade on February 25, 1825.

Useful and Appropriate: Cockades and Bazaars

Have you ever donated money to a fund that helps our soldiers and received a "Support Our Troops" ribbon to wear? Or maybe you've participated in a raffle for a donated item, knowing the raffle money was going veterans.

The idea of buying donated items at bazaars to support the troops is not new. Hundreds of these fairs were held across America during the Civil War. The simplest affairs were basic booths of items to buy. But many bazaars combined these booths with entertainment and education as well. They became great social events where participants might go to socialized, have their fortune told, hear concerts, skate on a summertime ice rink (how up-to-date and exciting!), and more.

And yes, they could buy a cockade as well!

This photo is a booth from one of the largest of these bazaars, the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair in 1864.

This fascinating website gives you an interactive page to see photos and read newspaper accounts of the various displays in the fair. There were vendors for everything from books to candy to furniture to art, florals, and jewelry.

The fair lasted two weeks and proceeds - over $550,000! - benefited wounded soldiers and people displaced by the war.

Useful and Appropriate

There is a fun section in Little Women that tells a fictitious story of one of these fairs. May, one of the girls in the Little Women family, has some gentleman friends who want to support her booth by buying her items. This humorous paragraph pictures the fellows' predicament as they blew their money on feminine frills - and then had no idea what to do with them!

"The Empty Purse" by James Collinson
"To May's great delight, Mr. Laurence not only bought the vases, but pervaded the hall with one under each arm. The other gentlemen speculated with equal rashness in all sorts of frail trifles, and wandered helplessly about afterward, burdened with wax flowers, painted fans, filigree portfolios, and other useful and appropriate purchases."

This painting called "The Empty Purse" or "At the Bazaar" is set a little earlier in the 1850s, but it shows us some of the many items that would have been available. A doll, some pictures, a floral arrangement, embroidered slippers waiting to be "made up," suspenders and a hat are just a few of the "novelties" the poor lady can't purchase because she apparently spent all her money!

...And Cockades!

You may be wondering what all this has to do with cockades. Well, the answer is that two of my favorite original cockades were items that were sold at just such a bazaar!

The Relic Room in Columbia, SC has a number of items related to the Grand Bazaar held at the State House in 1865. Here's a fascinating young lady's diary entry about it:

"Jan. 18th. - Well, our great bazaar opened last night, and such a jam! I was at the State house helping to arrange the tables until four o'clock so I was thoroughly tired. There are seven booths in the House (of Representatives) South Carolina, at the Speaker's desk, is the largest, and on either side are Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Missouri. In the Senate are North Carolina, at the Desk, Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama and Florida. The tables or booths are tastefully draped with damask and lace curtains, and elaborately decorated with evergreens. To go in there one would scarce believe it was war times. The tables are loaded with fancy articles - brought through the blockade, or manufactured by the ladies. Everything to eat can be had if one can pay the price - cakes, jellies, creams, candies - every kind of sweets abound. A small slice of cake is two dollars - a spoonful of Charlotte Russe five dollars, and other things in proportion. Some beautiful imported wax dolls, not more than twelve inches high, raffled for five hundred dollars, and one very large doll I heard was to raffle for two thousand. "Why" as Uncle John says, "one could buy a live negro baby for that." How can people afford to buy toys at such a time as this! However I suppose speculators can. A small sized cake at the Tennessee table sold for seventy-five dollars."

Sherman was on the march at that point, and the diary notes that rumor said he intended to attend the Grand Bazaar himself! (No word on whether he offered to buy anything.)

In the absence of the modern government assistance we are used to, the ladies of the 1860s stepped up to provide wartime relief themselves. These fairs and bazaars were amazing monuments to the organizational powers of women - as well as to their ability to create "useful and appropriate" items for sale!

From Insurance to Empire: Cockades of Fraternal Orders

From providing life insurance for firemen to plotting a North-South American empire, fraternal organizations had a huge impact on the Victorian era.

Fraternal orders were popular from the 1700s through the early 1900s. Freemasons are probably one of the most well-known and oldest fraternal organizations (a number of American founders were Freemasons). But there were hundreds of other orders founded as well. Some were merely for socializing and financial support of the members' families. Others had deep-laid and secret plans for empire-building.

All of them had unique rites - and cockades!

Masonic Hat Cockade

Empire Building

The Freemasons claim to be the oldest order in America, starting in Europe previous to the Revolution. Contrary to popular books and movies, the Freemason society had little to do with the Revolution itself, as rebellion against the state is against the society's principles. However, Freemasonry had a great deal to do with the establishment of the new United States, as the order's ideals of freedom and equality became founding national principles.

As the young nation grew, more fraternal societies formed - and political factions formed as well. In the Nullification Crisis of the 1830s, a couple of orders in particular were created that were destined to have major impact on America's future: the Southern Rights Club and the Order of the Lone Star. One was destined to birth the secession movement, and the other won Texas from Mexico. Both of them were precursors to the Knights of the Golden Circle, an organization with mighty aims.

A Texas member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, with cockade.
DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

The KGC and Secession

Before the Civil War even started, the KGC had its first Confederate victory - in Texas. Trained KGC troops under the command of Col. Ben McCulloch, forced the surrender of the federal arsenal at San Antonio in February 1861.

The Knights, comprised of local chapters called "castles,"  had originally formed in order to create a southern empire including Cuba, Central America, Mexico and the Southern United States. At the outbreak of the Civil War, they abandoned this aim and instead joined forces with the Confederate army. Their influence for secession was undoubtedly major.

A fascinating (and Union-biased) "Exposition of the KGC" published in 1861 reports the following: "All the principle castles now put on their holiday garments, and men were heard in the streets to thank God that the 'hour for Southern deliverance had come.'...No sooner had the news of the election of Lincoln been received, than every Knight in Charleston mounted a cockade on his hat and ran through the streets shouting, 'GLORY! we are free! we are independent!'"

In addition to the Southern "castles," the Knights were the primary force behind many Copperhead movements throughout the North and West. In fact, Southerners planned on the aid of these Knights to quickly win the war. The "Exposition" observed:

"At no time previous to the bombardment of Fort Sumter was it presumed that the number of men to be counted on from the North would fall below 100,000 and with these, and the assistance of Northern capitalists, Northern engineers, manufacturers, etc., together with the heavy drafts to be made on the U. S. Treasury and the U. S. Arsenals, it was confidently apprehended as nothing more than a breakfast spell to 'clean out the Abolitionists,' capture the Capital at Washington, and kick Uncle Sam into nonenity."

The KGC aims died with the Southern cause, but the KGC organization lasted until the death of its members in the early 1900s.  Besides many Confederate generals and officials, famous members of the KGC included John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James.

Insurance and Social Clubs

Fraternal organizations with benign aims existed as well. After the war, a "Golden Age of Fraternalism" occurred, continuing into the early 1900s. Some sources believe that at least 50% of the male population belonged to at least one fraternal organization during this time. The goals of the orders were as varied as the orders themselves: insurance, politics, social functions, and heritage. In general, an order's aim was to provide aid and socialization for its members.

The Grand Army of the Republic was formed for Union veterans to continue their wartime camaraderie. The United Confederate Veterans served the same purpose.

The Knights of Pythias was formed for insurance and aid purposes. The Order of the Elks (now the Elks Lodge) was originally created as a social club in New York. The Woodmen of the World was an insurance and aid organization, and continues as an insurance company to this day. In addition to these well-known orders, thousands of small and local fraternities were created for socialization and aid for firemen, coal miners, factory workers, and more.
Knights of Columbus hat with cockade

The Orders Today

The Great Depression hit the fraternities hard, many people not being able to afford extras like membership fees and insurance. Then government welfare and commercial insurance companies took the place of many fraternities devoted to aid. Some dissolved and others simply turned into insurance companies themselves.

However, military and patriotic fraternities gained members during the World Wars and many continue to this day. Orders for charity and aid still exist as well, such as the Knights of Columbus or the Fraternal Order of Police.

The legacy of the Victorian orders continues through modern times in insurance companies, unions, college fraternities, and heritage organizations. And if you look at their badges and cockades, many of them still retain the original symbolism of the fraternal orders!

Temperance Cockades 1840-1860

Prior to the 19th century, drunkards were often considered hopeless addicts. And heavy alcohol consumption was considered standard behavior by many. That began to change in the early 1800s.

America was a new nation still fighting for legitimacy in the first decade of the 1800s. But once peace was established with European nations, Americans could turn their thoughts homeward and consider improving themselves.

Many of America's reform movements began in the 19th century. Temperance was no exception. Reformers and preachers began to weigh in against the sin of drunkenness and for the first time, people began to seriously consider helping alcholics beat their addiction.

Enter the Temperance Movement.

Temperance Fraternities

One of the earliest Temperance societies was the Washingtonian Society, formed by six alcoholics who decided to meet together for mutual encouragement to avoid strong drink. Their format of regular meetings to share stories and encouragement actually foreshadowed the modern Alcoholics Anonymous program.

The Washingtonians grew and their impact was huge, becoming one of the largest movements in America. Men would lecture around the country telling their own stories about what life is like when abusing alcohol, challenging their audiences to take the abstinence pledge. By 1841 Washingtonians claimed over 200,000 members, and by 1842 they had over one million. (US total population in 1842 was only 17 million)

Their success encouraged other Temperance societies such as the Sons of Temperance (and the spin-off Daughters of Temperance). These societies required their members to sign a pledge of abstinence and they worked hard to make more converts. The clubs were also fraternal in nature, meaning that they often provided health insurance and burial costs for members, as well as care for widows (assuming the member had "stayed clean!"). Newly joined addicts who had taken the pledge to abstain were often helped to find jobs and housing. Temperance fraternities were a safety net as well as a reform movement.

Son of Temperance, holding the society's
pledge and wearing the regalia with cockade.
Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library

Spreading the Movement

The cause of Temperance quickly grew and became popular throughout the country, North to South and East to West. Even in California, Temperance groups existed in the 1840s.

Though the modern stereotype of white Southerners often makes them out to be alcohol abusers, a case can be made that the movement was even stronger in the South than the North. For instance, slave states members made up 44% of the Sons of Temperance in 1850 - but note that the Sons did not admit African Americans, and the South only represented 32% of the nation's total white population.

As the movement grew, Temperance societies began to link their abstinence idealogy to religion. Unlike the Washingtonians who purposely had no religious dogma, later societies often tied a person's spirituality to their commitment to Temperance. Further, radicals in the Temperance movement began to call for Prohibition, a complete outlawing of liquor in the country.

Not only was the "gospel" of Temperance preached, it was also written. T.S. Arthur **(editor and publisher of Arther's Home Magazine) wrote a widely read book called Ten Nights in a Barroom and What I Saw There. Other authors followed suit with books, pamphlets and cartoons illustrating the evils of alcoholism.

So what happened?

The Temperance movement's first wave withered with the advent of the Civil War. The issue of slavery became more important to reformers and Temperance was given a back seat, not to be revived until the 1870s. It would be this second wave that eventually realized the goal of complete Prohibition.

Temperance Cockades

Naturally what got me interested in this fascinating episode of history was the cockades! One of my customers suggested I research the topic of Temperance rosettes. I had no idea that my research would end up answering a question I long held about one of my own photographs! I had been puzzled by this beautiful photo of a couple in regalia. After comparing the many descriptions of Temperance cockades and collars, I've come to realize that they are most likely wearing Sons and Daughters of Temperance regalia. Mystery solved!

Many of the Temperance societies had their own regalia and almost all pre-1860 societies included cockades of some sort.  Here are some examples from various society rule books.

"The members of this Association shall furnish, at their own expense, a small white silk rosette, with a blue centre, of a fixed and uniform size..."
United Brothers of Temperance, 1847

"The regalia for a member of the National Division shall be a blue velvet collar, with a rosette of red, blue and white; gold button in the centre of rosette; two gold tassels suspended from rosette..."
Journal of the Proceedings of the National Division of the Sons of Temperance, 1844

"The Independent Order of Rechabites appeared in full regalia, preceded by an excellent band of musicians. Their regalia was a white satin collar, with a rosette of white, blue and scarlet ribbon, where it united in front."
Journal of the American Temperance Union 1840s

You'll notice a common color scheme - red, white and blue cockades. A quick look at Temperance posters from the era show many of the cockades had tassels. Though they were generally worn on a special collar, at least one poster shows a lady simply wearing the cockade on her breast.

Need A Temperance Cockade?

Naturally I couldn't fail to offer my customers cockades for such a worthy cause!

If you need a Temperance cockade, or a cockade for any other worthy cause, purchase below or contact me directly for a custom order!