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.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A New National Wearing Guide!

The Chancellery of Honours at Rideau Hall has recently issued a very helpful and well written publication on how to wear orders, decorations and medals correctly and in accordance with the rules set out by the Government of Canada. Wearing Orders, Decorations and Medals provides useful photos covering a variety of dress modes and officially sanctioned methods for wearing honours in Canada.
Cover of the new guide


The guide  provides explicit instruction on how to wear your medals and the Governor General's website continues to state some of the cardinal rules of who can wear what:


-Only the actual recipient of an honour can wear its insignia.


-No family member or any person other than the original recipient may wear the insignia of an order, decoration or medal, even posthumously.


-Insignia that are purchased or otherwise acquired may be used for display purposes only and cannot be worn on the person any any form or manner.


-The insignia of orders, decorations and medals not listed in the Order of Precedence, as well as foreign awards, an award of which has not been approved by the Government of Canada, shall not be mounted or worn in conjunction with orders, decorations and medals listed in the Order of Precedence. 


You can access the Order of Precedence by clicking on the link above or HERE. The Order of Precedence has been updated to include the addition of the Diamond Jubilee Medal. Notably absent from the list of approved honours are a host of as yet un-authorized and un-recognized provincial long service medals that have been popping up across Canada -- a topic for future discussion. 


Despite this excellent book there continues to be a host of familiar and new offenders, sadly even amongst those occupying some of the most senior officers in the land. With the conclusion of the school year, the long overdue Vice-Regal Report Card will soon be out.

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