Applebee’s to Hand Out ‘Thank You’ Lapel Pins to Veterans

On Veteran’s Day, current and former servicemen and women are invited to come to Applebee’s restaurants across the Rochester area for a free meal.

Veterans, and those on active duty with proof of United States military service, can choose one free entrée from Applebee’s Veteran’s Day menu. Additionally, the first 500 military personnel to visit a neighborhood Applebee’s restaurant will receive a commemorative “thank you” lapel pin. Pins are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

All Applebee’s locations across upstate New York and Connecticut will participate. Since the program’s inception in 2009, Applebee’s restaurants have served more than three million veterans and active duty military.



Honor a Veteran & Get a Lapel Pin


The Louisiana Secretary of State, Tom Schedler,  is hosting a program in which voters sign up to vote in honor of a veteran of their choice.

Voters who complete the application get a certificate, bumper sticker and/or lapel pin. The Secretary of State is encouraging voters to wear their pin or sticker in appreciation of servicemen and women.

Voters can dedicate their vote to multiple veterans, but only one sticker or pin will be issued per voter.

The dedications and a short message are posted on the Honor Vets, Vote dedication page on the Secretary of State’s website.

Voters can dedicate their vote by calling the Secretary of State office at 225-342-4479 or online at


Australian MP Faces Ejection over Lapel Pin

IN the NSW Upper House, five millimetres makes all the difference.

If your lapel pin is wider than the prescribed 20 millimetre limit, you could be ruled out of order for breaching dress standards.

Do that three times, and the president of the Upper House could eject you from the chamber.

But this did not worry Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham, who wore a 25 millimetre wide Aboriginal flag pin back into the chamber on Wednesday, only a day after he expressed fears he could find himself expelled for breaching the parliamentary dress code.

“To be thrown out … because of a pin the size of a thumb nail … what planet are we on?” Mr Buckingham told AAP.

Government Whip Peter Phelps had on Tuesday called Mr Buckingham on a point of order for wearing the oversized badge, and Mr Buckingham expected a repeat the following day.


Senate Candidates Lapel Pins Convey Political Message


They answered some questions, dodged others. Promoted themselves, tore the other guy down. And just in case an hour of yapping onstage wasn’t enough to make their case, Timothy M. Kaine (D) and George Allen (R) said it with lapel pins.

Virginia’s two former governors and U.S. Senate hopefuls, polar opposites on most things, pursued strikingly similar suit-adornment strategies in Monday night’s debate: Each wore a pin meant to puncture the claims his opponent was floating about him.

Allen often accuses Kaine of supporting massive defense cuts, so Kaine fought back by sporting an American flag pin.

Kaine says Allen would deny women access to abortion, birth control and equal pay. Allen countered with a pink breast cancer bow.


October: Breast Cancer Awareness Lapel Pins


Breast Cancer awareness is one of the most important issues facing society today. Breast cancer, like many other forms of cancer, are highly treatable when caught at an early stage – and even preventable. October is breast cancer awareness month and everybody should be talking about it. The First Lady and Mrs. Romney both wore pink dresses at the town hall debate, the Empire State Building is lit up in pink etc. Now police officers and other law enforcement officials are starting to sport pink on their uniforms to raise awareness for breast cancer. Pink lapel pins are part of the Uniform in October. 



Trade Mission to Exchange Lapel Pins


When trade missions get together, exchanging gifts is imperative. Mexican Mission representatives sometimes give expensive bottles of Tequila. Usually, though, the gifts are inexpensive trinkets. Oregon’s trade mission, headed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, will hand out lapel pins this year, leaving an imprint and a solidarity message way after they leave the host country, Japan. It once again reiterates the importance of lapel pins as a gift and a commemorative item that will leave an impression for a long time. 



My Flag Lapel Pin is Bigger Than Yours

I’m sure you’ve also noticed that American flag lapel pins on politicians are getting bigger. Is there a contest I’m unaware of? At New York City’s 9/11 commemoration, politicians dispensed with the pins altogether and stuck small American flags in the upper pockets of their coats. Despite the solemnity, it made me laugh at its one-up-man-ship, another form of a p—-ing contest.

I have never burned an American flag, nor been at a demonstration when one was burned. I have only seen it on TV, and it makes me cringe, because I was raised on the notion that one only burned the flag if it touched the ground, had been desecrated in some other way, or simply worn out.

These days I see many American flags that should be burned because they have been desecrated by being left out 24/7 in all kinds of weather and are ragged-looking and need to be replaced. This seems also disrespectful.



Summer Camp Gives Award Button For Eating Veggies

There is certainly a movement these days to promote healthy eating for kids and summer camps for children are right there with it. In recent years a salad bar has been as much a fixture in a summer camp dining hall as Melmac dinnerware. However, as a general rule, most children aren’t fond of veggies and making the healthy stuff available doesn’t necessary mean that campers will happily indulge. At Kettleby Valley, a summer camp for children in Ontario, they have found a simple yet effective way to motivate their campers to fill up on salad and vegetables.

Each week, the camp awards a ‘GRUB’ button to the cabin group who eats the most veggies and salad. “We’ve always offered healthy options for lunch,” says Peter Truman, the Director of the camp. “Once we started awarding the button, we saw a real difference in the quantity of veggies they’d eat.” In many cases, campers would come up for thirds and fourths of salad and vegetables.

In addition to filling up on healthy veggies, campers were also given points for reducing food waste. The waste was reduced from a full garbage can each meal to a small shopping bag. ‘Take what you wanted, but eat what you take’ was the rule. “Campers would even eat their crusts,” Peter adds with a laugh. “And we serve brown bread.”

If a summer camp can encourage children to eat healthier by simply awarding a button, perhaps the same strategy would work at home. Peter warns, however that there is a difference between rewards and awards. “Rewards are used to modify behaviour, like training a dog. Awards are things that children can strive for and earn.”



Romney Lapel Pin at Presidential Debate

Lapel Pins were a focal point of the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. Political pundits and media gurus have analyzed every moment of the presidential debate that took place last week. Every nuance, claim and sentence uttered by the President and Mr. Romney was dissected and nitpicked with a fine-tooth comb. Their hair, suits, ties and shoes were discussed and  scrutinized. The pins the candidates sported on their lapels was no different. The tradition of wearing a patriotic lapel pin started with Richard Nixon, who wore an American flag lapel pin regularly. Nixon biographer Stephen Ambrose claims that the president, besieged by protests over the Vietnam War, was advised to wear a patriotic pin by his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman. Haldeman’s idea came  from Robert Redford’s 1972 film, “The Candidate”. The practice of wearing flag lapel pins waned in the coming years only to be reawakened by the events of 9/11. Even then, the idea was embroiled in controversy as the Republicans claimed that not wearing a flag lapel pin was a sign of weak patriotism. Since that time, wearing a flag lapel pin has becone standard among politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Even though President Obama has said in the past that “My attitude is that I’m less concerned about what you’re wearing on your lapel than what’s in your heart,” the pin has been a permanent addition to his lapel. Not wearing a lapel pin would be akin to not wearing clothes at all – in today’s political climate and social norm.

At the presidential debate last week, President Obama wore the standard, smaller sized American Flag lapel pin. Mr. Romney’s pin was more prominent and had an unusual design on the stripes. Pundits and analysts pored over the debate tapes to determine the exact design and meaning of Mr. Romney’s pin. As it turns out, the lapel pin was a special Secret Service flag lapel pin, with the Secret Service emblem emblazoned on the stripes of the American Flag. The pin is worn by members of the Secret Service and their fans and gives no security clearance. The pins are traded between members and fans just like Olympic pins.

Mr. Romney is not the first to change up his lapel pins. Congressman Paul Ryan, Mr. Romney’s running mate, sports what appears to be a variant, and sometimes,  a flag with a GOP elephant. During the Republican debates, Newt Gingrich wore a pin replica of George Washington’s  Revolutionary War flag. So far, the president and Vice President Joe Biden are still wearing  the classic American flag pin.

Lapel Pins On Display At Museum

 The lapel collection of McAlester resident, Dorthy Kirkland, is on display at the McAlester Building Foundation Museum.

Pictured with the collection is her daughter Christine Briggs, left, of McAlester, and her grandchildren, Rodney Briggs and Gina Lawhon.

The collection of approximately 1,600 pins can bee seen at the museum.

The McAlester Building Foundation Museum is at the Old McAlester High School, 200 E. Adams Ave. and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon.