Accepted Customs and Practices for Dress and Insignia for Ladies

Accepted Customs and Practices
for Dress and Insignia

Each hereditary society and order has published regulations concerning the use of their various medals and decorations. The rules for the proper usage of insignia vary among the different organizations. Members are encouraged to review the particular protocol of an organization when attending either their formal or informal functions. The following is a general summary of the rules governing the wearing and use of insignia and related items. This information is provided as guidance in order that all may conform therewith, to the end that the prestige and esprit of the hereditary community be maintained and the dignity of their proud backgrounds may be enhanced.


Ladies dress for formal and informal occasions follows the dictates of accepted social customs.


Insignia and Decorations for Ladies

It is recommended that the insignia and decorations of the hereditary community be worn as prescribed below in keeping with customs and tradition with:

Standard Insignia:

The standard or full size insignia is worn by members on formal occasions, over the left breast.  Generally, standard insignia for ladies is to be worn only at functions of the respective society, and not displayed with other standard insignia.  Some societies make allowances for wearing standard insignia when members are either representing the society at an event, or when attending ceremonial occasions.  Ladies standard insignia may not be altered by jewels, inscriptions or any other device.  Jewelry such as  brooches or pins may not be worn above or directly adjacent to insignia. The wearing of a necklace is, however,  an acceptable practice.


The sash ribbon is worn by officers and past officers on formal or semi-formal occasions. It extends over the right shoulder diagonally to the left hip with the society medal pendant from the bow at the intersection of the end over the hip.  The sash may not be worn over a top coat of any kind, except a suit coat, nor with a pants suit. As with the wearing of standard insignia, the sash may be worn only at official society functions where the member is representing the respective society.  It may also be worn at ceremonial occasions.

Miniature Insignia

Formerly, miniature insignia or medals were considered inappropriate for ladies, unless attired in a dress military uniform. As some societies today have only miniature insignia available to members, they are now appropriately worn with proper ladies' formal evening attire

Recognition Pins and Charms:

Many organizations issue recognition pins and charms.  The recognition pin should never be attached to a ribbon, but worn as prescribed by each society.  Both of these items may generally be worn upon any occasion. 


Specific DAR Regulations

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution is the largest and one of the most distinguished hereditary societies in existence.  Because of this, we have included here specific information regarding DAR insignia regulations.  HSC would like to thank the DAR Insignia Committee for allowing the inclusion of this information. 

Insignia Pin

by permission of the DAR Insignia Committee

The insignia pin should be worn over the left breast and only by active members. The Insignia and pins are worn with a 1 " wide ribbon, which is the same as the ribbon used to create the State Regent's sash ribbon. The length of the official ribbon shall not exceed 14 inches. By ruling of the National Board of Management a flag pin may be worn on the left lapel when wearing the DAR Insignia. No other jewelry is to be worn on the left side when wearing the Insignia pin.

It should be worn only at functions of the National Society, state organizations or chapters or when representing the organization.

It may be worn during the dedication of a grave marker for a deceased Daughter and also at the funeral of a Daughter. Daughters may sign the memorial book as DAR members.

The DAR insignia should not be worn on the street, in a restaurant, cocktail lounge or other public places unless a DAR or allied function is taking place.

Sash Ribbon

The sash ribbon is worn by the President General, Honorary Presidents General, National Executive Officers, past National Executive Officers, Vice Presidents General, Honorary Vice Presidents General, past Vice Presidents General, State Regents, and past State Regents.

by permission of the DAR Insignia Committee

During the Installation Service, the outgoing corresponding officer places the sash ribbon symbolizing continuity of office. In the absence of this officer, the First Vice President General places the ribbon.

by permission of the DAR Insignia Committee

By ruling of the National Board of Management the official sash ribbon must be worn in a uniform manner, that is, over the right shoulder and under the left arm. The ribbon should be hem length. Only two pins should be worn on the sash ribbon, one to fasten the ribbon at the shoulder and one at the hip.

Members of the National Board of Management are not to wear campaign emblems on the sash ribbon. The emblem of the current administration may be worn on the sash ribbon.

The ribbon represents an officer or a past office. It should be worn on strictly formal occasions. National and past National Officers, State Regents and past State Regents should wear their ribbons at Continental Congress, state meetings, chapter meetings, DAR dedications and strictly formal occasions.

by permission of the DAR Insignia Committee

Although the privileges accorded to an Honorary State Regent or past State Regent remain in the state in which she was elected, as long as an honorary or past State Regent is a member of the National Society, she is entitled to wear the official sash ribbon at any official DAR function.

by permission of the DAR Insignia Committee

The DAR sash ribbon is not to be worn while attending a function of another organization unless the member is attending in her official DAR capacity. Likewise, a sash ribbon of another organization should not be worn at a DAR function unless the person is attending that function representing the other organization.

The sash ribbon, like the Insignia, should not be worn on the street, in restaurants, cocktail lounges nor in a public place unless an official NSDAR function is taking place then and there. The sash ribbon may not be worn over a top coat of any kind, except a suit coat, nor with a pants suit. The sash ribbon may be worn at a funeral by a member attending only in an official DAR capacity.

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