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Reddest Red Sun

World's People Eagerly Seek Chairman Mao Badges

China Reconstructs, May 1968

Proudly we wear the badges of Chairman Mao,
The ever-red sun rises in our hearts;
With Chairman Mao's call engraved within us,
We become pathbreakers in revoluton and production.

On the streets of China's cities and towns, in the trolleys and buses, at meetings and public places, in roads and villages of the countryside, wherever the revolutionary people see each other wearing Chairman Mao badges they greet each other with an especially warm smile. Their boundless love for our respected and beloved Chairman Mao draws them together.

Photograph by Li Zhensheng

Abroad too, in countries around the world, revolutionary people often crowd around a Chinese wearing a badge of Chairman Mao to ask him for one. And when they get it, they shout with joy, "Long live Chairman Mao Tse-tung!"

This eager demand for the shining Chairman Mao badges is an expression of the increasing depth with which Mao Tse-tung's thought has taken root in the hearts of the world's people as the great proletarian cultural revolution in China continues its victorious march. A Malian friend put it this way: "Chairman Mao says that 'The salvoes of the October Revolution brought us Marxism-Leninism'. Today, it is China's great proletarian cultural revolution which has brought to the whole world the Marxism-Leninism of our era, the invincible thinking of Mao Tse-tung the revolutionary fighters' weapon everywhere."

This is why, with great warmth, the revolutionary people not only of China but throughout the world call Chairman Mao the red sun in their hearts. And their sources of inspiration and strength are the writings of Chairman Mao, his photos, and the Chairman Mao badge.

Making the Badges

Chairman Mao badges arose with the cultural revolution, an explosion of the revolutionary masses' deep love for Chairman Mao. The Peking Red Flag Badge Factory began to make them. Then from every corner of China letters began to arrive by the hundreds at the factory every day. In simple, sincere, beautiful language, people across the nation, their hearts filled with love for our great leader Chairman Mao, poured out their faith in Mao Tse-tung's thought. Varied in a thousand ways, these letters made one demand "Make more Chairman Mao badges!"

A medical worker in Kiangsu, about to leave for the countryside in response to Chairman Mao's call to go among the broad masses of workers and peasants, wrote the factory workers: "In the days and nights to come, we cannot depart from Mao Tse-tung's thought even for a second. We especially long for a shining badge of Chairman Mao so that in the hard struggle ahead of us we can draw strength and courage from it. "

The factory workers had personally experienced the people's demand for badges. For example, peasants in out-of-the-way villages had sent delegates to the cities, crossing mountains and rivers with sacks of food on their backs, to get badges of Chairman Mao. When the coveted badges at last lay in the peasants' hands for the first time, their eyes shone with tears.

To deeply moving letters and scenes such as these, the revolutionary workers and staff members of the badge factory responded with a solemn pledge: "More and better badges of Chairman Mao!"

Their factory used to make souvenir pins of scenic spots and ornaments with feudal and superstitious themes. The revolutionaries had suggested many times that they produce Chairman Mao badges, but the idea had always been suppressed by the handful of Party capitalist-roader leaders in the factory.

Then the cultural revolution opened the floodgates, the factory revolutionaries rebelled and began turning out Chairman Mao badges. Their first month's production of 30,000 were snatched up by the eager masses. In 1967, when the "January Revolution" in Shanghai swept out across the whole nation, the factory's revolutionaries fought together and seized the power back from the handful of capitalist-roaders. Monthly production of Chairman Mao badges rose to 6,000,000, with variety increasing from two kinds to twenty. Today, besides Peking, Shanghai and Canton where the greatest quantity and varieties are produced, factories in the provinces are also making the badges, Still, the supply never meets the demand.

A Well-honoured Badge

Of all the many kinds of Chairman Mao badges, there is one especially loved. It is a five-pointed star in gold, with Chairman Mao's portrait in gold on red, accompanied by a red and gold bar worn below it carrying Chairman Mao's words "Serve the People" (see badge above). Put out by a decision of the Central Military Commission, it has been worn since May 1967 by commanders and fighters of the army, navy and air force, who cherish it as a tremendous encouragement and honour.

When the badges were distributed to the heroic Company No. One of a certain unit .1 its commanders and fighters recalled their glorious past in which they had followed Chairman Mao across the country in many crucial battles. The company was born in 1928 in the Chingkang Mountains and, under the leadership of Chairman Mao, had helped smash one Kuomintang encirclement and suppression campaign after another, During the Long March (1934-35) it fought in the capture of Tsunyi in Kweichow province and defended the town during the famous Tsunyi Meeting which established Chairman Mao's leadership in the Party. During the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) it fought in the world-famous battle of Pinghsingkuan. During the War of Liberation (1945-49) it took part in the Peiping-Tientsin campaign and the march into Peiping (Peking).

Now, with the honoured badge in their hands, these fighters who had long fought beside Chairman Mao and defended him, exclaimed, "We owe all our achievements to the warm concern and teachings of Chairman Mao, to the nourishment of his thinking. Mao Tse-tung's thought lights our way forward." Wearing Chairman Mao's badge and quotation proudly on their uniforms, they swore that they would study Chairman Mao's works harder, follow his teachings, act according to his instructions and become even better soldiers of Chairman Mao.

When the badges reached the land, sea and air men guarding our country's coasts and borders, great cheers of "Long live Chairman Mao!" went up and they vowed to redouble their vigilance, smash any enemy war provocation, and make new contributions in the cultural revolution.

The Badge Goes Out Over the World

That the revolutionary peoples struggling for national liberation in Asia, Africa and Latin America cherish Chairman Mao badges is shown in hundreds of simple and moving stories.

Early in 1967 in the socialist Democratic Republic of Vietnam, veteran 57-year-old longshoreman Nguyen Van Tu was working on the Haiphong docks when he saw a Chinese sailor drop his badge of Chairman Mao. It bounced and rolled off into the icy water. Nguyen Van Tu immediately dived in and retrieved it. The sailor gripped Nguyen Van Tu's hand gratefully and, insisting that he accept it, pinned it on his Vietnamese brother worker. The old Vietnamese worker, a man who, before the establishment of proletarian power in his land, had had his fill of oppression, exploitation and humiliation under the feudal landlords and colonialists, told him, "Haiphong is a long way from Peking, but the great image of Chairman Mao and your people's passionate support of our people's fight against the Yankee imperialists is engraved in my heart. So when I saw your Chairman Mao badge fall into the water, I just had to plunge in to rescue it."

In Zanzibar, a sanitation worker went to the Chinese consulate to ask for a Chairman Mao badge.

"Chairman Mao has led the Chinese people to accomplish all kinds of great things," he told them. "Your doctors sent by Chairman Mao put a Zanzibar worker's hand back on after it was almost cut off and saved him from becoming a cripple. Chairman Mao truly cares about our people!" When they gave him a badge, he joyfully exclaimed, "Comrades, I will love Chairman Mao always."

A Havana bus ticket collector saw some Chinese students wearing Chairman Mao badges and begged them for one. A student unclasped his precious badge and pinned it on the man. The ticket collector was so happy that he pointed to a Lenin badge on his collar and said, "I have Lenin, so I'm strong. Now I have Mao Tse-tung, so I'm even stronger!" Turning to his passengers and pointing to his new badge, he shouted, "Viva Mao Tse-tung! Viva, viva Mao Tse-tung!"

Defending the Badge of Chairman Mao

All reactionaries in the world sense their days getting shorter and tougher when they see how the hearts of the revolutionary peoples are turning towards socialist China, towards the revolutionary leader Chairman Mao. They are mortally afraid of the spread of the great thinking of Mao Tse-tung, for this is the biggest obstacle to their plots against the world revolution. It is inevitable that they should frantically oppose Mao Tse-tung's thought and the Chinese people. So whenever they see the red book of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung or a bright Chairman Mao badge, they call in armed police and the military to beat and arrest people.

Last year, various reactionary governments often began their anti-China campaigns when revolutionary people refused to obey their decrees to stop wearing Chairman Mao badges. In Burma, for example, the reactionary Ne Win clique started its anti-China campaign by suppressing overseas Chinese students who were protesting because school authorities had forbidden them to wear Chairman Mao badges. When they saw young Chinese wearing the badges, thugs of the fascist, bloodsucking Ne Win military clique tried to force them to take them off. When a Chinese refused, the thugs would grab badge, shirt and skin and cut it all off, leaving the youth's chest bleeding.

But the threats and suppression of reactionaries cannot frighten revolutionary people armed with Mao Tse-tung's thought. The patriotic overseas Chinese in Burma fought a dauntless, heroic struggle. Thousands were arrested and jailed, but when many of them were released, the badge of Chairman Mao still shone on their chests.

In the middle of last October, a British cargo ship anchored in the Japanese port of Moji. Working on the ship were 35 Chinese seamen. Some Japanese dock workers who had boarded the ship to unload, asked the Chinese seamen for Chairman Mao badges. As a Chinese seaman was pinning his badge on a Japanese worker with friendly warmth, the British first mate suddenly lunged forward, tore the badge off and threw it into the sea. The Chinese seamen and Japanese workers immediately protested this provocation. The Chinese held a meeting on the deck demanding that the captain and first mate admit their mistake and apologize, and that the first mate be discharged from the ship. When the demand was refused, they went on strike. Their struggle was supported by local Japanese friends and overseas Chinese. Two days of heroic persistence brought victory and safeguarded the honour of the great land of Chairman Mao. The captain and first mate were forced to admit their crime.

Chairman Mao is the greatest Marxist-Leninist, the proletariat's most outstanding leader and genius in our era. The thinking of Mao Tse-tung is the highest crystallization and newest summary of the experience of the Chinese and world revolution. And when one defends the badge of Chairman Mao, he is defending truth. Deeply moved when he received a Chairman Mao badge, an old Bulgarian Communist said, "Our hopes are on Comrade Mao Tse-tung. He leads the Chinese people to persist in Marxism-Leninism, so we have hope. Someday socialism must win in my country too."

One's attitude towards a tiny Chairman Mao badge actually reflects one's attitude towards Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung's thought. The Chinese people are united around Chairman Mao and Mao Tse-tung's thought. The revolutionary course pointed out by Chairman Mao is clear before us. China will flourish and the world's peoples will win liberation. No matter what the storms, as long as we and the world's revolutionary peoples use the compass of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought to guide us, communism is bound to be realized throughout the world.

Women making Mao buttons

The golden sun illuminates the plane's controls,
Rainbow clouds glow in the wide clear skies;
With Chairman Mao pointing the direction for us,
We dare to brave any dangerous storms.

With the golden sun on our chests,
Our hearts light up and fill with strength;
The golden sun is the great Chairman Mao.
We people of the Congo love you, Chairman Mao!

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