Introduction

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.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Positive Signs

Since this blog made its debut we have seen a significant improvement in the way some public figures wear their medals. Of course we cannot prove that this improvement is on account of the "Wearing Your Medals Wrong Blog" but with more than 6,000 hits now, it seems likely that at least some offenders have been informed of their newfound notoriety.  In the Vice-Regal report card issued on October 24 the Lieutenant Governors of Alberta, British Columbia and Nova Scotia, along with former Governor General Jean were given less than stellar marks. It is not believed that Mme. Jean has worn her medals since leaving office, but her predecessor Adrienne Clarkson, a long time medal wearing rule offender, was spotted at the Vimy Dinner in Ottawa wearing her medals CORRECTLY!

All is correct.
Continuing on the positive side, Lieutenant Governor Steven Point of British Columbia has greatly improved, and there have been no additional photos of the Lieutenant Governor Mayanne Francis of Nova Scotia wearing one medal on the right and one on the left with her provincial order hung too low (see post of October 9). It seems as though the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta and Major General Richard Rohmer are lost causes. Readers who have ideas of how to get these highly-decorated and accomplished individuals to follow the rules are encouraged to email them in. Perhaps in 2011 will see more public figures following the rules.
Why wear the CC lapel pin?

The Governor General has been spotted "doubling up" on honours by wearing his CMM, medal bar and Order of Canada lapel pin. While this is a relatively minor infraction, it should be dealt with as wearing a Order's lapel pin with other full size or miniature insignia is improper.

A few readers have sent me photos taken on Remembrance Day, I encourage others to do so in advance of a posting on the subject.

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