Pinback Buttons: from Politics to Activism

Stop Lynching, Vintage Pinback Button

Stop Lynching part of the 1930s Civil Rights movement. Image Credit Hake`s

Pinback buttons have been around and used for hundreds of years – literally hundreds of years; the first patented pin was made in the United States in 1896! Pinback buttons have mainly had a political application being used to promote a political candidate and their slogans, but the last few decades we’ve seen them used for activism such has the civil rights movement, saving the rainforests & many other causes, like the equal rights to marry.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling making on equal marriage rights, making it a right across the United States, I wanted to share some pinback buttons that others have made to help the cause and that promote equality for the LGBTQ community.

Pinback Buttons might not be able to directly change the world, but they can help by making it easier for you to be heard!!

Rainbow LGBTQ Pride Flag button by ThatLovelyBrooch

Foster Equality, Vintage Button found on Ebay

Rainbow Run, vintage 1990s Pin, found on Etsy

Rainbow Run, vintage 1990s Pin, found on Etsy



Gay Pride Buttons made by Mehoi

Various LGBTQ Pins made by Mehoi in Toronto

Ally - Rainbow Pride button

Ally Pride Button made by The Little Kangaroo

LGBT Rainbow flag button by ThatLovelyBrooch

YES, Marriage Equality

Yes to Marriage Equality Pins by PointyPins

Inauguration Buttons News Coverage

I’ve compiled links to stories below that chronicle the entrepreneur’s making money from President Barack Obama buttons and memorabilia.

Obama’s likeness brings in the bucks – The Sun Chronicle

Vendors fill D.C. streets with goods – USA Today

Obama souvenirs increasing presidential inauguration memorabilia fans – Wallet Pop

Inaugural memorabilia may fetch big bucks – Politico

Inaugural Memorabilia: What It’s Worth – SmartMoney

Barack Obama Memorabilia Rush Ahead of Inauguration – VOA News

Hot ticket: Obama memorabilia sets record for inaugural bling – Miami Herald

The Business Of Selling Barack Obama –

Winter Rec-Fest Button Design

Winter Rec-Fest kicks off with 2009 button unveiling – La Crosse Tribune

Amy Springer of La Crosse, Wisconsin designed the winning button for the 23rd annual Winter Rec-Fest in La Crosse.  Purchasing the $1 button will get a visitor into certain events.

La Crosse Winter Rec Button

Barack Obama’s Official Button Supplier

Buttons can be big business – just ask Tigereye Design.  The company is based in Greenville, Ohio and is the main supplier of buttons, yard signs, posters, t-shirts, etc. for Barack Obama’s campaign.  How much is that contract worth?  Over $6 million and counting.

There is a very intersting article in the Dayton Daily News that profiles this company.  For example…

Tigereye had 30 employees when it began the Obama contract in February 2007; now it has 175 workers and Hemminger expects to add 30 more.

The first time we covered this company on this blog was when they made a snafu making an Obama button with a Larry Craig picture on it.  But, when you are making that many buttons, your bound to make a few mistakes.

APIC National Convention

Today is the last day of the 2008 American Political Items Collectors National Convention in Las Vegas.

The New York Times wrote an interesting story about the event and some of the people that attend it.  Buttons are not the only political memorabilia collected – you have a Mike Huckabee guitar pick and even a Hillary Clinton change purse.

There is also slideshow of the event available from The New York Times.

Oktoberfest Button

Okbtoberfest in La Crosse, Wisconsin is in its 48th year.  The event is a German tradition.  The button for the was recently revealed.

The button was designed by Dana Moe, a graphic design student at Western Technical College.  Dana is pictured with the winning entry.  That may be largest picture of a button I’ve ever seen.

Oktoberfest Button Design Unveiled –

Oktoberfest Button – Official Oktoberfest Website