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 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. I 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
Senator Pamela Wallin, OC, SOM
Wearing one bow on each side is never appropriate. In this photo we have Senator Wallin wearing her Saskatchewan Order of Merit on the right and her Officer of the Order of Canada on the left. You can just see the red and white ribbon of her OC in this photo. Bravo to the Senator for wearing her Orders on bows, but please in future wear only one at a time, and wear it on the left!
Here we have yet another example of the highly problematic nature of putting civilians into a military uniform. Wallin is wearing only 3 insignia, yet she is wearing all of them incorrectly. Let us start with the easy part. The Golden Jubilee Medal should be court mounted and worn higher and be centred. The Officer of the Order of Canada bow should not be pinned to a neck ribbon, the OC insignia should be unclipped from the bow and put on a neck ribbon that should be worn at the neck (ribbon under the collar of the shirt), the badge should rest just below the knot of the tie. The Saskatchewan Order of Merit should similarly be unclipped from the bow and worn on a short ribbon that protrudes from the top button of the tunic.