Scope and Content

From the beginnings of the National Federation of the Women's Institute (NFWI) members wanted to have a badge. The Canadian Badge, which had been designed for the first WIs in Ontario by Miss Laura Rose showed a monogram of WI in the centre, with maple leaves either side and the motto 'For Home and Country' surrounding this. The first known British Badge that was sold from 1919 had a monogram in the centre, with a rose on one side and a maple leaf on the other, with 'For Home and Country' around the outside. Mostly these were produced in gilt, but some badges were made in gold. In 1953 some woodcuts were specially designed by Reynolds Stone CBE for the book 'The History of the Women's Institute Movement' written by Inez Jenkins. The WI Monogram had the letters intertwined with roses and this was subsequently used on handbooks and annual reports until the end of the 1960s. In the 1970s the WI badge was modernised. A square badge was produced with a simple monogram in red, with 'For Home and Country' at top and bottom. The Guild of Learners produced other badges during 1920-1930 with ribbon, in order that special pins could be added, as the person gained 'proficiency' in various crafts e.g. gloving or smocking. Individual Federations also produced and designed their own badges, which have changed over the years. These often include motifs of local significance. Simple square design badges were produced for executive committee members, initially enamelled in different colours during the 1930s with more simpler plastic white badges with black lettering produced in 1970s. A Chairman's badge with a chain was produced in the 1980s, which was similar in design to a mayoral office chain.

The badges held at The Women's Library cover an extensive date range, and although not complete indicate the type of badges created by and associated with the Women's Institute.

If anyone wishes to donate additional badges to the NFWI archive The Women's Library would be happy to accept them - please note that TWL does not take duplicates, just one example of each badge produced.