Over the past decade we have noticed a rampant increase in the number of people who are wearing their orders, decorations and medals incorrectly. The cadre of people who flagrantly violate the official rules on how you are supposed to wear your medals ranges from the average veteran right up to current and former Governors General. Indeed, there is much evidence to suggest that the higher the rank of the individual the more likely they are to just wear whatever they want, however they want. We like to think of this as “Instant Dictator Syndrome” or self-aggrandizement at its most obvious.

Why do people wear their medals incorrectly? Often it is because they simply do not know any better. If you are one of these people you should consult WEARING ORDERS, DECORATIONS AND MEDALS which is available from the Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall. This guide will help you figure out how you are supposed to wear your officially granted orders, decorations and medals.

When it comes to wearing your medals incorrectly the worst offenders tend to be former Governors General, Lieutenant Governors and retired Generals. When these people – all in authority and all surrounded by staff who know better – wear their medals wrong they are obviously suffering from the dreaded Instant Dictator Syndrome. The attitude accompanied with this most severe condition is “the more medals I wear the more important I will look.”

This simple blog is aimed at revealing the myriad of fellow Canadians who cannot seem to wear their medals correctly.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Clarkson Years and beyond

Five years have passed since Adrienne Clarkson and her self-professed co-GG husband departed Rideau Hall. As Governor General Clarkson did much to invent new and incorrect ways of wearing her various orders, decorations and medals. She invented what I like to call "the olympic medal" method of wearing the Order of Canada. Clarkson and her husband habitually wore their Order of Canada insignia on long investiture length ribbons. Ralston Saul's CC should be hanging just below the knot of his tie, not mid-chest.

Clarkson's offences went beyond just the wearing of investiture length ribbons, she found literally dozens of ways to wear her insignia incorrectly -- worst of all she continues to commit these intentional errors -- all on account of an acute case of Instant Dictator Syndrome. 

Here we have Clarkson wearing her CC around the neck and her CMM on a bow, along with her medal bar. She would have been fine to wear just her CC around the neck (for those ladies who insist on such things) and her medal bar, or her CMM on a bow above her medal bar, but not her CC and CMM at the same time. During the recent installation of the Governor General in Ottawa Clarkson could be seen on TV sporting both her CC and CMM on bows -- totally incorrect and against the rules for wearing Canadian orders, decorations and medals. Those in civilian attire can only wear a Companion or Commander level Order around the neck or on a bow -- not both! The Queen is allowed to wear both the Order of Canada and Order of Military Merit on bows because these are special Sovereign's badges.

Clarkson's offences have continued long after leaving office. As Colonel-in-Chief of the PPCLI you would think the RSM or maybe even a brass hat would tell her to stop wearing her medals wrong!  Here we have Clarkson doubling up on Orders again. Clarkson's behaviour is an embarrassment to the PPCLI and some brave member should correct the erstwhile former GG. Leaving this acute case of Instant Dictator Syndrome untreated could tragically lead to Clarkson wearing her Order of Canada, Order of Military Merit, Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Order of St. John insignia and medal bar simultaneously. This would undoubtedly result in a serious back injury for the 71 year old Clarkson. 

1 comment:

  1. I was in the patricias back in 1990 and at the battle school in wainwright there is a big portrait of lady patricia wearing a white dress and she looks beautiful.When they made Clarkson the honorary colonel in chief replacing lady patricia I vomited.I can't believe the regiment didn't fight it.