Take a look at the banners which featured in the procession organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies on 13 June 1908.
Many local banners have not survived but we have many of the designs for them in Mary Lowndes’s album.
This is the design for Leeds. The fleece, three stars and owls are used on the Leeds coat of arms. Rather than using the Latin motto of the city of Leeds, a new motto was created, ‘Leeds for Liberty’.
This is the design for the Cambridge alumnae.
Press reports noted that these women did not wear academic gowns because the university still refused to grant degrees to women, a position that remained until 1948.
Mrs Christiana Herringham provided pale blue silk for this banner from her travels in India.
Josephine Butler had signed the 1866 women’s suffrage petition, but then decided to concentrate her efforts on the campaign to repeal the Contagious Diseases Acts from the 1860s to 1880s.
She died in 1906, and Millicent Garrett Fawcett hailed her as “the most distinguished Englishwoman of the nineteenth century" in the biography she later wrote on Josephine.
In a letter to Millicent Garrett Fawcett on 22 June 1908, Philippa Strachey praised Mary Lowndes: “She really is splendid. Besides being responsible for the plan of making the procession into a pageant, she actually designed nearly all of the banners herself which I think is a wonderful achievement. Her organising capacities are just as remarkable...."
Mary Lowndes’s ideas for making banners were published in September 1909. She saw it as a skill: “It is not a placard…a banner is a thing to float in the wind, to flicker in the breeze, to flirt its colours for your pleasure, to half show and half conceal a device you long to unravel: you do not want to read it, you want to worship it.”