Maozhang were a bottom-up phenomenon. Initially worn by activists and Red Guards, the very rapid growth in the popularity of these bright, red and shining badges of participation meant that they became an existential necessity for institutions at every level from individual factories to entire government departments. It is perhaps coincidental that these examples issued by ministries are devoid of rousing revolutionary inscriptions.

The badge at right was issued by the adminstration office of the State Council (headed by Zhou Enlai), which previously had been synonymous with "the government"; this role was increasingly subverted by the Central Cultural Revolution Group.

state council admin min chem industry ind petromin Ministry of Foreign Trade of the Peoples Republic 4th design min rail 6th ministry 7th min

h. 46mm  w. 42mm   8.8g

Ministry of Chemical Industry

Ministry of Petroleum Industry

In 1970 the ministries of chemical industry and petroleum were combined as the Ministry of Fuel and Chemical Industry. The Ministry of Railways was abolished in 1966 and reinstated in 1975

State Council

50mm   9.2g

41mm   6.2g

Ministry of Foreign Trade

Ministry of Railways Fourth Design Institute

40mm   7.1g

h. 55mm  w. 51mm   13.5g

Sixth Ministry of Machine Industry


Seventh Minsitry of Machine Industry

Space (including development of Long March rocket)

bbp 3

h. 38mm  w. 38mm   5.0g

h. 40mm  w. 40mm  5.6g

The badge at right bears a rousing obverse inscription, "Going all out for self-reliance and striving to surpass the world's advanced scientific and technological achievements"; it was issued by Proletarian Revolutionaries at the Seventh Ministry of Machine Industry.

45mm   7.4g


38mm   5.7g

Eighth Ministry of Machine Industry

Oversight of defence industries

8th ministry

The badge at right was issued by the Third Design Bureau of the Eighth Ministry of Machine Industry. The Third Design Institute was a part of the Ministry of Railways until 1964 when the Eighth Ministry was created. Among many other activities, the Eighth Ministry oversaw the construction of the Xinjiang-Chongqing railway.

48mm   9.8g