for Dress and Insignia
Each hereditary society and order has published regulations
concerning the use of their various medals and decorations. The
rules for the proper usage of insignia vary among the different
organizations. Members are encouraged to review the particular
protocol of an organization when attending either their formal or
informal functions. The following is a general summary of the
rules governing the wearing and use of insignia and related
items. This information is provided as guidance in order that
all may conform therewith, to the end that the prestige and
esprit of the hereditary community be maintained and the dignity
of their proud backgrounds may be enhanced.
attire (dinner jacket or full evening dress) is customarily worn
on all formal occasions. It is desirable that members of many of
the societies such as the Society of the
Cincinnati, Saint Nicholas Society of the City of
General Society of Colonial Wars, Order of Scions of Colonial
Cavaliers, etc. participate on such occasions wearing full
Attire for formal or informal occasions follows the dictates
of good taste and social usage.
Uniforms of the U.S. Armed Forces, service or dress, may be worn
at any social function by
those entitled to do so.
and Decorations for Gentlemen
It is recommended that the insignia and decorations of the
hereditary community be worn as prescribed below in keeping with
customs and tradition:
The standard or full size insignia is worn by members on formal
occasions, centered on the left lapel or breast of the coat,
about four inches below the top of the shoulder. If more than
one standard medal is displayed, the insignia of the most senior
organization, by date of founding, is mounted toward the
wearer's right side. The top edge of all medals should be on an
No more than three standard size insignia should be worn
Members of most societies who are or have been officers, either
on a national or state level, may wear the medal pendant from a
neck ribbon in the societies' colors. Some of the larger
societies also permit chapter presidents to wear the insignia
pendant from the neck. When worn with formal evening attire, the
medal is to be drawn up close below the knot of the bow tie.
The insignia may be worn with informal clothing such as a sack
suit or blazer. It is also appropriate for use upon a cut-away
or military uniform. When worn on a uniform, the regulations of
the appropriate branch of military or naval services govern the
permission and proper placement of the insignia. Certain
hereditary society medals have been approved for this purpose.
The standard size insignia is never worn with any type of
miniature except on occasions when the larger medal is suspended
from the neck.
President General or Governor's Star and other Star Orders:
The Governor or President General's Star is worn on the left
front of the jacket several inches below the medal bar. Other
order stars (but no more than four) are also worn below.
However, when attending an occasion when these orders take
precedence, the Governor or President General's Star is worn
below them. For example, if attending a French government
function, one would wear the Legion d'Honneur in pride over any
other order's decorations or medals.
The Star may also
be appropriately worn on a ribbon, pendant from the neck by the
presiding officer of certain societies and orders.
Many of the hereditary
societies provide a smaller star for former Governors,
President Generals, and National Officers. They are appropriately worn in the same
The sash is worn by officers and past officers only on formal
occasions. It extends over the right shoulder diagonally to the
left hip with the society medal pendant from the bow at the
intersection of the end over the hip. With full evening dress,
the sash is worn under the coat and over the waistcoat. With
formal wear (cut-away coat), the sash is similarly worn. With
uniforms, the sash is worn over the coat. The sash is not worn
with dinner jacket or sack suit.
Miniature insignia or medals may be worn on formal ceremonial
occasions and should be in one horizontal line on the left lapel
or breast of the coat. To assure proper alignment, the medals
should be mounted on a single bar; this bar should never be
longer than the distance between the fold of the left lapel of
the coat and the left armhole seam; the medals may be overlapped
on the left edges to conserve space if necessary. More than one
row of medals may be worn and the decision is a matter of
The foregoing applies whether the insignia in question are full
size or miniature. It should be noted moreover that when more
than one medal is worn, all must be of the same size; miniature
and full size insignia are not aligned together. (This
restriction does not apply to neck ribbon insignia, which are
always full size and are worn independently of other insignia).
Order of Insignia:
Orders, decorations and medals are worn in the following order
from the wearer's right to left:
Decorations of honor
Federal decorations of honor or valor in order of precedence
Federal campaign medals in chronological order
State campaign medals
State organizational and long-service medals
Insignia of patriotic and veterans societies, in the order of
p. (5), (6), (7) and (8) above are never worn on Federal
uniforms except on appropriate occasions of related
significance. Insignia are never worn on the overcoat except
when specifically ordered.
The complete, chronological list of the hereditary societies and
orders of the
is located on this site.
The Rosette is worn only on informal occasions in the left lapel
of a blazer or sack suit provided that no other insignia is worn
at the same time. It is never worn with formal evening dress.
During inclement weather, on occasions of ceremony, it may be
placed on the lapel of an overcoat for identification.
The blazer patch is correctly worn on a traditional
blazer. It is mounted on the jacket pocket on the left side of
the coat and never worn with that of another society or order.
This insignia is never used with formal attire or for any other
Many of the hereditary organizations provide a necktie in the
societies' colors for their members. They are correctly used as
any other necktie.
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