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Free Charles Manson Badge

Artist: Charles Manson

Year: 1970
Country: United Kingdom
Format: picture
Original badge, manufactured by the Horn Company of Philadelphia, and distributed in Lawrence, Kansas, c. 1970.

The badge, which bears a photo of Manson, was issued at a time when he was regarded as a revolutionary hero by some segments of the American Left, including the Weathermen faction of the SDS, who praised him for having offed some "rich honky pigs" and proclaimed 1970 "The Year of the Fork" in his honour (they even produced a bumper sticker, "Manson Power - The Year Of The Fork!").

The badges were conceived as a fundraising tool by the staff of Vortex, a Kansas underground paper, who believed, along with certain sections of the underground press who shared their paranoid-schizo attitude towards Manson, that he was being framed for murder by the government. They were created to raise consciousness about the case, but, according to a source, the response was under-whelming and only about 20 were sold.

4.3cm. diameter. Two small rust spots, with some oxidation to the verso.