[c. 1940s]. 30x13cm. Maroon felt with Bronx Zoo in white lettering, a panda with white accents on a golden yellow circle background, and two Chinese characters in pink. Golden yellow stitched edge with two tassels attached. Serrated edges starting to fray. A few minor cracks to the color on the panda image, though not noticeable when laid flat. Small black mark to golden yellow circle. Very fun collectible item of this iconic animal and the awe-inspiring Bronx Zoo! Better than Very Good.
Panda-monium in New York City! Two pairs of giant pandas were given to The Bronx Zoo; one set in 1938 (an exciting attraction during the city’s World’s Fair) and another in 1941 after the first two original pandas passed away. Pan-dah and Pan-dee, the second set of pandas, were a gift from Song Meiling, First Lady of the Republic of China. The pair of female pandas delighted tourists and New Yorkers alike for almost ten years before passing away in 1951. Given the endangered status of giant pandas, research and collaboration between the Wildlife Conservation Society, the World Wildlife Fund, and The Republic of China led to policies for loaning rather than gifting pandas. In 1987, another pair of pandas was able to visit the city for six months on loan. In recent years, a few wealthy New Yorkers have attempted to raise enough funds to bring more pandas to the city, but their efforts have been fruitless.
This pennant was likely produced to celebrate The Bronx Zoo’s acquisition of the pandas, which had become a national attraction and big business during the 1930s and 1940s.