Single hands on coins: political activism

Started by <k>, August 01, 2011, 11:59:10 PM

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eurocoin

#15


Andorra, 2 euro, 2015. 30th anniversary of the legal voting age at 18.

brandm24

#16
rsz_hand-heart_1.jpg

Though the hand isn't struck as one of the coin's devices, it was later added as a political statement. It's an earlier and rare pictorial counterstamp that represents the Red Hand of Ulster, a symbol dating back to the ancient Irish province of Ulster. It's been used since at least the late 14th century, and likely much earlier.

Over these many centuries the symbol has been used by both Nationalists and Unionists in their struggle for dominance in the Irish / English questions of loyality and religion.  However, in modern times it's generally considered a Unionist symbol. It was adopted by a number of powerful Unionist paramilitaries and political parties as part of their banner or shield. The word Ulster today is generally understood to mean Northern Ireland.

Interestingly, the opposite was true centuries ago. The O'Neill's, the most powerful clan in Ulster, adopted the Red Hand symbol in their 9 year struggle against English rule in Ireland. It became known as the "Nine Years War" and lasted from 1594 to 1603. This was one of the earlier Nationalist uprisings against the Crown.

Interestingly, I acquired this coin from an American collector a number of years ago. As would be expected, nearly all of these political issues...Troubles issues included...come from sources in the Uk and Ireland.

Bruce
Always Faithful

Figleaf

I googled pics for "red hand of Ulster" and found none (I think) with the hand coming out of a cuff.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

brandm24

There's a couple of wall murals I've seen pictures of on the Newtownards and Shankill Rds. in Protestant areas of Belfast that seem to have a "cuff "of sorts on them, Peter. The standard of the Ulster Young Militants hints at the same as do a few others I've seen. Generally, the hand is smooth and ends abruptly at the wrist, but some of the more gruesome depictions show drops of blood coming from the stump.

In this case, I think the die cutter has taken some artistic license in his design. Maybe the points at the wrist are his representation of blood dripping from the wound. If this were cut today, the sinker could have used red alcohol ink to make it "official" and more realistic. Nevertheless, it surely is a representation of the Red Hand of Ulster. just a bit different than the norm.

One more interesting thing about the symbol is that while the right hand is typically used, some depict the left hand.

Bruce
Always Faithful

andyg

Reminds me of this logo,


Which is for a brewery in England....
always willing to trade modern UK coins for modern coins from elsewhere....

brandm24

#20
SLP 1.jpg


This is the other coin with counterstamp I've been able to come up with that follows this theme. The coin is a smoothed US Indian Head Cent...probably 1870s or 1880s.

The SLP is the Socialist Labor Party, founded in 1876 in Philadelphia. Though the party never acquired a large following over the years they did survive until 2008 when the organization closed it's national office.

Bruce
Always Faithful

Figleaf

Great stuff! A real piece of history. Didn't realise they were alive until 2008. See here for more info and the logo of the party.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.