The House of Representatives is closed. Learn more

Wearing your politics

  • Written byCampbell Rhodes
  • DateTue, 07 Jun 2016

In a robust democracy, you can walk down the street wearing the colours and symbols of any candidate or organisation you desire.

Australians have embraced this as a tradition, and every election is filled with all the colours of the rainbow as supporters emerge to spruik their candidate or cause. You’ve probably seen them when you’ve gone to your local shops. A candidate is standing for election and is handing out leaflets, talking to voters. And around them, a small crowd of supporters, wearing eye-catching t-shirts emblazoned with the name of the candidate and/or their party.

What you wear can be a powerful statement. Even a t-shirt that doesn’t expressly endorse a candidate or party can be an act of democratic protest or rebellion. Everything can be political, and the right to express your views however you choose is an important one in any democracy.

Earlier in the election campaign, the Museum shared some examples of its badge collection that promote parties or candidates. But a badge, though easy to make, is also easy to miss. But it’s hard to miss someone in a t-shirt; they’re a much more obvious way to show your colours and support a party of your choice. In this post, we want to show some examples of t-shirts (and one skivvy) from our collection that make the most democratic of statements.


Campbell Rhodes is MoAD's Copyright and Research Coordinator.