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 Hon. Linda Haverstock, CM, SOM

 Just so I do not get accused of picking on representatives of the Crown here is a photo of the former Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. I was quite pleased when I found this photo, however upon closer examination there is a very serious problem.  Yes this is an exception to the rule that you can only wear one order on a bow at a time. In this photo Haverstock was just invested with as a Member of the Order of Canada, no doubt she will have her CM remounted in with her medal bar. Given that she was just presented with the second Order on a bow as part of the investiture this is quite acceptable. But there is a glaring issue with what Haverstock is wearing. As a Lieutenant Governor Haverstock was made a Dame of Grace of the Order of St. John (the insignia consist of a neck badge on a bow and a breast star), but in this photo she is wearing the insignia of an Officer of the Order of St. John on her medal bar. So she is wearing an insignia that she is not entitled to wear at all! This is in violation of the statues of the Order of St. John and also Order-in-Council 1998-591. A subtle case of Instant Dictator Syndrome, but given that the Officer of the Order of St. John insignia is mounted in with her full size medal bar it is quite obviously intentional. 

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