lapel pins

In the United States, there are more than 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers now serving. This is the highest figure ever. Some of these officers may choose to have lapel pins on their uniforms. One example some might choose to wear is a flag pin. There’s proper etiquette that should be followed with wearing one. Here are some tips on how to wear a flag lapel pin.

1. Placement

In general, it’s good to follow the United States Flag Code for pin-wearing etiquette. The code notes that the flag is representative of a living country and is considered a living thing. It’s because of that, it’s proper to wear the flag lapel pin on the left side near the heart. Any other position is generally not considered proper. In a case where an officer is wearing a tie without a blazer, the placement of the pin should be on the center of the tie. There should be no other tie tacks on the tie. The pin should be firmly attached to your clothing and not be able to spin upside down, as this is also considered inappropriate.

2. Size

Flag lapel pins shouldn’t be large, as it might make it appear flashy. When you look for a flag pin, find one that is small instead. While there’s not a specific size limit that’s right, it’s ideal to choose one that’s at least less than a half inch. Wearing a flag pin this size won’t risk looking flashy and will be more appropriate for the office. If you’re unsure wearing a flag lapel pin is appropriate as a member of law enforcement, the flag code indicates that policemen, firemen, military personnel, and all other patriotic organizations can wear them as a part of their formal uniform.

3. Cleaning

Just as it’s sign of respect to keep an American flag clean, it’s important to keep your flag lapel pin clean as well. First you should remove the keeper or back from your pin. Be sure to do it carefully so you don’t stick yourself. Before using the polish you have, test it out first. Swipe the back of your flag pin with a cotton swab before using it on the rest of the pin. After testing the polish, place it on all of the pin and rub it gently with a cloth. Doing this should take off any tarnish that’s on it. Be aware that some metals, such as copper, will tarnish faster than other metals, such as gold.

Wearing lapel pins or patches can be a way of signifying what organization one belongs to. In the case of flag lapel pins, it’s one way some may choose to signify their patriotism. Be sure to follow the proper etiquette of wearing a flag lapel pin if you choose to wear one.