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, February 3, 2018

We're Back!

After more than 80 emails over the past year -- half of which have come in since our new Governor General took office -- we will be updating Wearing Your Medals Wrong, over the coming weeks. Don't worry, you will soon be able to feast your eyes upon all manner of medal wearing offences being committed by a host of Police Chiefs, Veterans, and yes even Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, who has an otherworldly approach to wearing orders, decorations and medals.

Thanks to all of our readers for your patience and for sending in so many useful photos. Remember, when in doubt, if it is not included as part of Order-in-Council 1998-591, or the updated list maintained by the Governor General's Office, then you most likely shouldn't be wearing it. While it is a pretty easy rule to follow, it seems the higher the rank, the less likely some are to follow the rules. For wearing insignia there is the Guide for Wearing Orders, Decorations and Medals, which covers all the usual questions. It doesn't matter who you are, how much brass you have on your hat or gold you wear on your cuff, you are supposed to follow these rules too. 

By the end of the month we will also have an updated Vice-Regal Report Card, which we have not done in more than three years. 


  1. Good to see you back online. I laughed at the description of the GG...."otherworldly". But you're absolutely right. There really needs to be a school for aide-de-camp to learn how to properly dress their "charges".(maybe there is and it's just crappy?).

  2. Informative post thanks for aware about this topic Wearing Your Custom Medals Wrong.

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