Flag made of red silk with the words "Moebel Arbeiter Union No 1" and "Incorporit 1872" along with the image of a banner with the word "Chicago" on one side. The other side features the words "Liberty, Equity, Fraternity" along with an image of two hands shaking framed by a sprig from an oak tree and one from a cherry tree.
This flag was used by the Furniture Workers Union No. 1 after its founding in Chicago in 1872.
Moebel Arbeiter Union No. 1 is German for Furniture Workers Union No.1. Liberty, Equity, Fraternity is a motto popularized by the French Revolution of 1789. The oak and cherry sprigs symbolize woods commonly used in furniture making.
Chicago workers organized the Furniture Workers Union No. 1 in 1872 in an effort to control and regulate employment conditions in the furniture industry. Reflecting the member’s ethnic diversity, the Union held six separate meetings in 1876, each one conducted in a different language. As early as 1879, furniture workers participated in a movement calling for an eight hour work day. Many of the foreign-born labors introduced socialist and anarchist ideas to their fellow members and participated in the radical politics of the late 1870s and 1880s, some of which culminated in Haymarket Labor Demonstration of 1886.