poll results is it acceptable to wear

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Poll Results: Is it acceptable to wear medals from current military organizations on Steampunk attire?

Stigma 13, by Mr. Nelson Quintero

A bit ago, on the Steampunk Empire, there was an interesting thread about wearing RL military medal with Steampunk attire.  After quite a bit of banter regarding legalities and a few personal observations by those involved, I felt it would be an excellent question to post to the readers of the Tribune.

Well, I must say I hadn’t anticipated the results of this particular poll.  The results are as follows:


No – Wearing medals from active military organizations is disrespectful to service veterans.
66 votes – 36%
Yes – If I have earned the medal from my military service, I have no qualms wearing them.
66 votes – 36%
Yes – Wearing medals is simply part of my Steampunk persona, and I do not consider it disrespectful to military service members.
19 votes – 10%
Yes – If I can purchase a medal, I have no qualms wearing it.
15 votes – 8 %
Other – my view is not represented in the above choices.
16 votes – 8 %

Based on 182 votes to the poll.

What does it mean?  It seems there is quite a distinct opinion towards either not wearing them, of if one has active duty service, wearing them if they’ve been earned, with both of those selections being identical in percentage (36%) and votes (66).  I had projected that the third selection would have garnered more support (not my choice, mind you), but the use of RL medals as props seems to a position supported by a minimal number of respondents (10% of the vote, with 19 votes supporting this choice).  A more mercantile option (the “if I can purchase it, I have no qualms wearing it”, with 15 votes and 8% of the selections), was nudged out by the infamous “Other”, by a single vote.

So, there you have it – if you do happen to see a real military medal on Steampunk attire, its most likely the individual in question has earned it.  Of course, were one to acquire a non-offensive defunct military medal, or design/make an original medal, it would likely garner more interest than a one that is currently in use, imo.  (For example, were I to see someone with a “Good Conduct Medal” on their Steampunk attire, my first thought would be “Seriously?”.  Then again, I’m a bit of a self-admitted curmudgeon).

As I’m running a bit low on questions, I thought I’d try something new and “open the floor” to prospective questions from readers of the blog.  If you have a question which you’d like to submit for the general readership, please do take a moment and forward it to the editor (me), at TheSteampunkTribune [at] yahoo [dot] com!  I’ll be happy to attempt to hash out suggested ideas!


Fogwoman Gray

How serendipitous. Was just out antiquing with the husband and found a case full of military, airline and misc medals. Made me think of this poll. There was actually a purple heart for sale there, which made me sad. We both agreed that something like that was completely unacceptable, but some medals from other countries that were for things like marksmanship seemed like they would be fun and inoffensive.


@ Miss Gray – Great find Id say, though I concur, one would wonder the story behind many of the medals in question…

Jonas Arnell

Moreover, depending on country, wearing medals you have not earned yourself can be a criminal act. In general I think that the best way is to find inexpensive specimen that are not valued by "real" collectors and retrofit them. Most medals were established in the 20th Century, so wearing your own medals is generakky an anachronism. If you have medals that were contemporary, you still have to think about if they fit. For instance, as an orders & medals expert I have been granted the Order of the Star by the Imperial House of Ethiopa and the Order of Stanislaus by the Imperial House of Russia, but I could not wear them at the same time as a steam punker, it would be a weird tale to explain for those orders on the same chest.