Search our collections

Advanced Search

Object: Badge, ’Greenpeace’

This image has All Rights Reserved.

Title Badge, ’Greenpeace’
Production Greenpeace (creating agency), circa 1985, New Zealand
Medium summary Plastic wrapped printed paper and metal badge
Materials metal, paper, plastic, ink
Classification badges
Technique printing
Dimensions Overall: 43mm (Height) x 43mm (Width) x 6mm (Width/Depth)
Credit line Gift of Ken Thomas, 2008
Registration number GH011822

This badge effectively combines a rainbow as a symbol of the anti-nuclear movement with the brutal bombing of the Rainbow Warrior – a Greenpeace protest ship. The Rainbow Warrior was moored in Auckland in 1985 when two bombs ripped through it. The ship’s photographer died retrieving his camera.

Unhappy France

Two French government agents were caught and imprisoned for manslaughter. The bombing was intended to stop the Rainbow Warrior protesting against French nuclear testing at Moruroa atoll.

The attack galvanised the anti-nuclear movement in New Zealand, and NewZealand–French relations soured. France wanted its agents back and threatened to block New Zealand’s trade access to European markets if this didn’t happen. With important export markets at stake, politics won out over principles. The New Zealand government agreed to the agents being transferred to Hao atoll, where they served reduced sentences before returning to France as heroes.

Wearing protest

The visual culture of anti-nuclear protest often took form in a range of popular media, including banners, T-shirts, and badges. Badges were accessible, mass-produced objects, cheap to make and purchase, easily disseminated, and effective in conveying political messages.

Related information

Results from DigitalNZ

Searching 27 million digital objects from over 150 content partners across New Zealand

More from Digital NZ

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.