Churchill Collectables: Big Three Victory Banner
By BRIAN KRAPF
This cloth banner measures 2 feet by 3 feet and features the “Big Three,” Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin. It was made by the New Era Company of Wembley for use in the VE Day celebrations beginning 8 May 1945. Interestingly, several manufacturers reacted quickly upon hearing of the German unconditional surrender and were able to produce rapidly badges, posters, and banners such as these in time for use in the celebration.
This banner is part of a “Thanks for the Victory” set, which includes banners saluting the RAF, Navy, and Army. If you look closely, you will notice that the red border is only three sided. This is because New Era made a companion banner of the same design but featuring the faces of allied soldiers set into the flags. The red border forms a completed rectangle when the two banners are paired together.
Of the “Thanks for Victory” set, the banner featuring the “Big Three” is the rarest and most sought. One was displayed within the Imperial War Museum’s Homefront exhibit several years ago. Another was found in Coventry, neatly folded in the drawer where it had been stored since 1945 It was displayed in 1995 for the VE Day fiftieth anniversary celebrations. The one pictured here is included in my collection. One can only imagine this banner and its mates being displayed from windows during the VE Day celebrations adding to the great excitement felt by every British citizen.
Brian Krapf formerly served as President of the American Political Items Collectors, which is devoted to the preservation and study of America’s political heritage. He has been honored with APIC’s highest award: induction into the organization’s Hall of Fame. Items from the Krapf collection have been featured in History Channel documentaries and also in major print media publications. He has also served as a national advisor to eBay in the areas of security and fraud detection, and he designed eBay’s current political memorabilia listing categories.