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Polls on politics, news, current affairs and history.

Should the US have a presidential sash?

Yes
8
19%
No
32
74%
Other
3
7%
#13905238
No, this isn't a troll thread. But yes, it is not a super serious issue, either.

The US has a set of values that is really hard to find elsewhere. For example, it is technically wrong to refer to the President as His Excellency, since that, according to their founding fathers, is against the republican principles that no man should be over another. The correct form of addressing the president is by using the vocative Mr. President, and introducing (or referring to) him simply as the President of the United States. No need to say that can cause some very awkward moments in the international arena, where it is customary to refer to any republican Head of State as Excellency. Nowadays, the presidency accepts to be treated as Excellency by the international community, even though there were cases in which the Presidents have corrected Americans when addressing them correctly. There was a case with George Bush correcting a reporter after being called 'sir'. He said the correct term was Mr. President, and that it was a similar situation to calling the Pope anything other than Your Holiness.

There was also the issue with the State of the Union Address. Originally it was simply delivered by the President, since a speech was too "monarchical", going back to the old Speech from the Throne. Obviously, this has changed at some point in the 20th century.

The next issue is the case of an insignia. Monarchs have used crowns to show they are the ones they claim to be, for centuries. Of course, in most republics, the idea of a president wearing a crown was seen as ridiculous. There were other symbols that were seen as insignias as well. Collars and chains of office have been worn by state officials for centuries, as well. In fact, the main insignia used by the Russian President is precisely a chain of office: a collar with the Russian Coat of Arms. Judges in Portugal wear a robe and a collar with a huge medallion. In Peru, the judges don't even wear the robe anymore, just the medallion.

The other important symbol was the sash. Originally it was used by higher Generals, in the Army. Then it became more associated with honorific orders. Most Orders have a sash as the main distinctive of their greatest rank. The President of France, for example, often wears the sash of the Legion of Honor with his white tie, when he has to. In Portugal, there is a distinctive presidential sash, called the 'Band of the Three Orders', which represents the Head of State (it was used by kings, when Portugal was still a monarchy).

In some republics, the sash evolved into some sort of "presidential crown", used to identify the Head of State. The first country to do that was Chile, I think. Then it spread through the entire Hispanic world in the beginning of the 19th century. Brazil only adopted the custom in 1910. We were a monarchy in the 19th century, and the Emperor used a crown. Nowadays, the custom is common all through Latin America, but it has also spread to several other regions. Croatia and Lebanon have their own presidential sashes, for example. Many African nations, as well. Here are a few examples (Croatia, Mexico, Panama and Argentina - images from the Flags of the World website):
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And the custom is not used only for Presidents in Republics. In Belize, for example, both the Governor General and the Prime Minister are represented by official sashes, respectively:
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The President of Suriname wears a collar that is in-between a Presidential Sash and a Chain of Office:
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And finally, the Brazilian Presidential Sash costs a few thousand dollars (the last time I heard about it, it said the new version would cost around 22 thousand dollars). What really represents the President is the golden medal medal. The sash itself changes a lot, but the medal in the bottom of it, has been the same since the first sash:
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Anyway, on topic, I always found it weird that the American president has no distinctive sash. It would be nice seeing Obama with a 13-stripe sash, and the US Coat of Arms in the center :D What do you guys think? (and for the record, I don't really expect many people to actually bother answering this thread, but it is worth asking)
#13906781
Dave wrote:No

The Presidential sash is the hallmark of a banana republic


Exactly!

Fascists love ornaments, saches, special hats etc. As a civilian president, the american president should never wear adornments which differentiate him from the rest of the population.
The president of Bolivia aka "SALAD MAN" uses a salad around his neck to show the bolivians that he is the King, Master or something like that.

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Civilian presidents should always dress like civilians. No ornaments whatsoever.
#13906896
It would be nice seeing Obama with a 13-stripe sash, and the US Coat of Arms in the center


Other; cape. But has this not already been partially adopted?

It is my understanding that since Bush V2.0 it has been customary for US presidents to wear a tiny American flag on the lapel! The reasons for this practice are unclear because there seems to be no precedent for it and he was infamous. I could only imagine that the tiny American lapel badge was placed there by someone as a constant reminder for the president as to who he was?

Why Obama continues this silly patriotic display is less clear, but he has had a lot of trouble distancing himself from other Bush era policies and the tiny American lapel badge appears to be no exception. Its become strangely symbolic of his failings for me...
#13908464
Dave wrote:The Presidential sash is the hallmark of a banana republic

Indeed. There's an old truism which goes: the more decorated and preposterously ornate a nation's currency is, the less it is worth. The same goes for heads of state.

Edit: That said, all the government buildings I saw in my visits to Seppoland were far more covered with red, white 'n' blue and go-go-America bullshit than the level of patriotic imagery I am used to in places of public office at home. Does that mean: the USA is a banana republic? :eh:
#13909155
No, I associate it with Latin America and various third world states. I'm all for aesthetics and commanding authority but in this case since it makes me think of some tinpot regime it would command less respect. Also for some reason I get this feeling we would wind up using a really stupid looking sash.
#14179557
Absolutely not.

The last thing America needs is another dumb symbol to slap onto something. The American flag, the eagle, the national anthem, the Pledge, I mean don't we already have enough national symbols. If anything we need to de-emphasize rampant symbolism.
#14180005
I never even knew Croatia had a presidential sash until now. It is most certainly never, ever used, except possibly for inaugurations (unsure).

I oppose glorifying and making a cult out of a political position or office and adorning it with vain peacock feathers, so this gets a No from me.
#14183452
Hmm, somebody resurrected this thread. I guess it doesn't hurt answering now.

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Daktoria wrote:How many Protestant countries have their heads of government wear a sash?


Most of them. A sash is usually part of the insignia of the nation's most prestigious honorific orders. As Grand Masters of such orders, Heads of State usually wear the sash on special occasions. Take (Lutheran) Finland, for instance:
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Soulflytribe wrote:Fascists love ornaments, saches, special hats etc.


Fascists?! Presidential sashes have been around since the early 19th century. And sashes of honorific orders have existed since the 15th century! Fascism only began in the 20th century. None of these leaders are fascists:

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President of Portugal

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King of Spain

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King of Sweden

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President of Iceland

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First Lady of Iceland

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Queen of Sweden

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Governor General of Canada

As a civilian president, the american president should never wear adornments which differentiate him from the rest of the population.

Civilian presidents should always dress like civilians. No ornaments whatsoever.


That's why the presidential system sucks. People are never able to understand that the President is NOT a civilian. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, after all. It's quite unusual for Heads of Government to wear sashes or any other decorations of office, since they are usually civilians, commoners and laymen. But the Head of State of any country, as the Commander-in-Chief of the military, is anything but a civilian:
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Many members of the American military got quite mad when Bush tried to give a salute while carrying a dog:
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Typhoon wrote:It is my understanding that since Bush V2.0 it has been customary for US presidents to wear a tiny American flag on the lapel! The reasons for this practice are unclear because there seems to be no precedent for it and he was infamous. I could only imagine that the tiny American lapel badge was placed there by someone as a constant reminder for the president as to who he was?

Why Obama continues this silly patriotic display is less clear, but he has had a lot of trouble distancing himself from other Bush era policies and the tiny American lapel badge appears to be no exception. Its become strangely symbolic of his failings for me...


The precedent is international. Some time ago, politicians decided to wear miniature flag lapel pins to show their position. But it is not only presidents that wear such pins, anyway. For example, here is Shaun Donovan, US Secretary of Housing and Urban development:
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And Eric Shinseki, US Secretary of Veteran Affairs:
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And it is not just in the US. Lula always used a Brazilian flag pin when traveling abroad, for example:
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There is also the guy from American dad:
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Holt wrote:Does that mean: the USA is a banana republic?


The US has always been a banana republic. The only difference is that it is a very wealthy banana republic, unlike the rest of them.

nucklepunche wrote:Absolutely not.

The last thing America needs is another dumb symbol to slap onto something. The American flag, the eagle, the national anthem, the Pledge, I mean don't we already have enough national symbols. If anything we need to de-emphasize rampant symbolism.


A presidential sash is not a national symbol, though. It is a symbol of office to the President.

roxunreal wrote:I never even knew Croatia had a presidential sash until now. It is most certainly never, ever used, except possibly for inaugurations (unsure).


    Wikipedia wrote:The presidential sash is a Croatian tricolour band, trimmed with gold and adorned with the coat of arms of Croatia, which is placed in a white field, with the tricolour at the front. The arms are bordered by oak branches on the left and olive branches on the right. The sash is worn diagonally, over the right shoulder, and is fastened using a square clasp trimmed with golden Croatian interlace. The sash is adorned with the arms used on the presidential standard, although without the ribbon used in the arms. The constitution specifies that the sash is worn on Statehood Day, during awards ceremonies, during the acceptance of letters of credence and in other ceremonial occasions. The presidential sash was not in use since 2000 inauguration of Stjepan Mesić.

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I oppose glorifying and making a cult out of a political position or office and adorning it with vain peacock feathers, so this gets a No from me.


That's why 'Head of State' shouldn't be a political position.
#14183581
roxunreal wrote:Ah so it's a Tuđman era thing, fortunately abolished as should be most things associated with him.


Hmm, wasn't Tuđman the guy who broke up with the communists in Yugoslavia and managed to enforce independence? How can any Croatian be against him?

Anyway, I suppose it was chosen as a presidential symbol in the new, independent Croatia. It's really weird that the new tradition died like that.

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