Four young women with Union Jack

These college-age women have a determined air about them, as if they’re on a mission.  They’ve arranged themselves around a pedestal with a Union Jack flag draped over it, adding a patriotic aspect to the portrait and perhaps suggesting political activism.  Were they participants in the women’s suffrage movement?  What does the ribbon on the flag signify?  The cabinet card has no information on it, so we’ll have to guess.  Feel free to offer ideas in the comment section below!

Four young women on a mission (UK) 2d



14 thoughts on “Four young women with Union Jack

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  1. I think they are suffragettes. The lady outermost left looks very confident, as if she just ‘knows’ she’s doing the right thing. The younger lady next to her looks scared – she feels she should, she wants to, but she doesn’t ‘own’ her action like the others. Could she be the younger sister of the lady on the left? There is a physical resemblance and they stand literally close together.

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    1. I wondered the same thing! But if you look very closely–maybe try tilting your screen–you should just be able to see the areas where the blue was. I don’t know why it faded. The whole photo turned unusually dark (toned) with age, while the blue just disappeared. Some photos age well and some don’t. Thanks for commenting! By the way, I’ve created a new “Women’s History” category and added this photo to it, along with a dozen past posts. A few of the choices were subjective–I probably just like them a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope you don’t mind but I just had a quick look at this in photoshop (I won’t keep it!) with the contrast and brightness adjusted and I don’t think that’s a Union Jack. It looks like it should be but even with fading, the parts that should be blue would be darker than the rest and they’re not. I think it’s just their or the photographer’s idea of a fun prop. Apart from that, they may well be suffragettes but I’d have thought if they were that there’d have been some message with them – like a placard or even something printed on the photo. In many senses, rather than being patriotic, it looks like it’s making fun – in which case, it could signify the reverse. (And that bow on it wouldn’t have been regarded as ‘proper’.) I wonder where it was taken?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Food for thought! It came to me from Kettering, but that doesn’t really tell us anything. The flag could be a random prop, but with all the options for props, why choose a flag? I still think it was chosen for political or patriotic reasons. Suffragists (and suffragettes, the more radical group) were big on symbolism, which might explain the bow, if we only knew how to interpret it. Thanks for your input!

      Liked by 2 people

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