Where Should One Wear a Recognition, Insignia, or Fashion Pin?

A recognition or service pin can accompany your name tag on the right lapel area of your garment when placed by a name tag or on your event lanyard (or sash). You choose. If the pin does not accompany the name tag, it should be worn on the left.

Rule of etiquette dictates that
medals of honor, insignias, corsages, boutonnieres, and brooches
should be worn on the left.

There is a historical significance to the placement of pins on the left. For example, the lapel American flag (being a replica) should be worn on the left lapel near the heart. However, insignias are worn on the left and/or right collar, on the sleeve, or on the hat/helmet (placement will depend on unit or rank).

The fashion industry has altered the rule for brooches or fashion pins, and you will find the placement on the left or right as a personal preference. If name tags are worn, it’s best to wear a brooch or fashion pin on the left so it doesn’t interfere with the name tag. Note that wearing a brooch or fashion pin on the left gives it an impression of power (e.g., military rank is symbolized on the left.) and royalty (historic tradition).

Name tags or badges are worn on the right to make it
easier for names to be observed
as a handshake is engaged.

The key to remembering all the rules is that they come with one big caveat: Wear the name tag and pin in the location that makes the most sense! Some organizations have specific rules about placement of pins and badges. When etiquette is involved, honor the etiquette of placement based on the represented organization (e.g., rank preference). A whole blog can be written on this topic! There are many variances.

Just some thoughts for you to ponder and share.

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