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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

5,000 Hits

Over the past month this blog has received more than 5,000 hits. Although not overwhelmed with emails from readers, there have been some very useful notes, comments and photos.

A few readers have extolled displeasure with the tone and overall message of the blog. Comments such as "just correct the various offenders with a letter or phone call" have been expressed by several people. Long before this blog was even conceptualized I tried that approach; polite simple letters and emails explaining what is wrong and how to correct the situation along with a photo of the problem and a diagram of how to fix it. In a few cases I received replies, but in most there was not even an acknowledgement.

The Hon. Don Ethell. Layering of miniatures is not a Canadian practice.
The last 2 medals Ethell is wearing are unofficial "assocation" awards
and shouldn't be worn with official honours.
One senior officer wrote to offer some very constructive criticism and comment, all which was greatly appreciated. Less helpful notes have accused me of being a self righteous bastard. I find this more amusing than annoying. Rules exist directing us on how to wear our medals, they are not opinions or suggestions offering advice on how an individual “may” decide to wear their medals, they are rules. If Lieutenant Governors, Honorary Colonels, Honorary Captains(N) and brass hats of all types are incapable of wearing their orders, decorations and medals correctly then it only sends the worst sort of signal to the average Canadian. The people featured in this blog have all risen to high position through making important contributions to their province and country. Nevertheless these contributions do not give them a license to “ignore the rules” or to use their medals as fashion accessories. One cannot help but wonder why they feel they are above the rules that the rest of us are subject to.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo, and congrats! I love this blog. It's fascinating to see just how (ahem) backwards some medals are worn. Keep on blogging, I'll be reading.