Shanghai: Red Flag Badge Factory, [ca. 1969]. Two-inch anodized pin with red lacquer, depicting Mao's portrait; the back of the pin has text translating "Long live Chairman Mao / Shanghai, China." The paper sleeve it came in has Lin Biao’s calligraphy on the front, with his slogan “Study Chairman Mao's writings, follow his teachings, and act according to his instructions.” It also provides the name of the factory where the badge was made in Shanghai. The back of the envelope has care instructions, warning against rubbing the badge too much or bumping it on hard surfaces. It is unusual to have the original envelope intact like this.
This is one of the many types of Mao pins issued at the height of the Red Guard movement. We have obtained a small trove of two different types that were still stapled in batches of five in their original envelopes. These were exported to the United States for sale through venues like China Books. This batch remained unopened for almost 50 years and the pins are still as brilliant as the day they were made, though the envelopes have become brittle and have tears. The pin will be removed from the envelope for shipping, to prevent damage from sliding around.