The Steampunk Forum at Brass Goggles
October 17, 2017, 01:49:20 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: Support BrassGoggles! Donate once or $3/mo.
 See details here.
 
   Home   Blog Help Rules Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Medals?  (Read 2239 times)
grimnir
Zeppelin Captain
*****
Australia Australia


Maker of fine Leathercrafts


WWW
« on: May 22, 2013, 05:30:52 am »

I've seen quite a few places selling SP medals and a few posts on here about them and every time I do I have my wife telling me what a bad idea this is. Her father is a decorated Korean War vet, you see, and he was talking with her and her daughter about his medals, and how the ribbon colours all have specific meanings and so on. Would this make a difference to you? Would you use made-up medals on your outfits? I was barely able to express an interest in the idea before being lambasted for the very idea!
Logged

Kindest regards, Raven

von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2013, 06:37:24 am »

I believe there was some lengthy discussion on this very topic a year or so back, in which our resident military historian TimeTinker was consulted extensively. I can't offer a link to the thread, but I seem to recall the consensus being that a) it's not the ribbon alone, but the combination of ribbon and medallion which hold significance — there are, after all, a finite number of ways one can combine colours into a ribbon and have it remain distinguishable from similar ribbons — and that b) wearing actual medals of valour, or service or campaign medals from "within living memory" was quite beyond the pale, that service/campaign medals from beyond living memory was questionable unless you are "in character" and conduct yourself with appropriate respect, and that the wearing of obviously-fictitious awards should be seen as the good fun it is intended to be.

My memory isn't what it used to be, though (and for that matter, it never has been what it used to be), so you've got your research homework cut out for you.
Logged

By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
By the Beans of Life do my thoughts acquire speed
My hands acquire a shaking
The shaking becomes a warning
By the power of caffeine do I set my mind in motion
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics is 5838 km from Reading
TimeTinker
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Steampunk Facilitator MVSS


WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2013, 07:55:35 pm »

Certain ribbon colours do indeed relate to specific awards and should be avoided.

There are several people making and selling spurious steampunk medals.  These generally avoid established ribbon colours and certainly avoid correct medals.

The general consensus is fictitious medals (clearly the more fictitious the better) are the way forward if you wish to decorate an outfit. Just make sure you are avoiding any chance of confusion with real awards since this would be offensive to many and illegal in some countries.

The VSS award medals each year for steampunk art etc to allow people to win medals that they can wear appropriately on their outfits.  We also strike a commemorative medal for people who have attended our major event the Asylum.  My good lady actually wears a school punctuality medal with her military style outfit.
Logged

BE SPLENDID!
Capt. Dirigible
Rogue Ætherlord
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Shirts?.....I got plenty at 'ome.


« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 09:10:45 pm »

Quote
My good lady actually wears a school punctuality medal with her military style outfit.

One of my medals is a school attendance medal..which has a rather splendid image of Queen Victoria on one side..(the side I display, obviously) that I picked up for a couple of quid at a car boot sale.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 09:12:20 pm by Capt. Dirigible » Logged

I say, Joe it's jolly frightening out here.
Nonsense dear boy, you should be more like me.
But look at you! You're shaking all over!
Shaking? You silly goose! I'm just doing the Watusi
GCCC
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 11:19:05 pm »

I'd given some thought to using established medals as the basis for fictional ones. Something along the lines of one of the Royal Academy awards, but for aether-related research, kraken biology, that sort of nonsense. Perhaps use most of the design elements of the original, enclose it within a cog, include completely spurious (but steamsona-related) text on the front, something that marks the award as being an obvious pastiche. Would that sort of thing be frowned upon in your neck of the woods, wherever that may be?
Logged
Captain Lyerly
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Ukraine Ukraine


At the helm of the Frumious Bandersnatch


« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2013, 04:49:12 am »

School punctuality and attendance medals are good.  Charity shops, boot sales, flea markets - they all have the odd school medal or sports medal - I think I saw someone wearing one from an old Special Olympics contest, but I am not sure on that.

There are tons of non-military awards, orders, decorations, and medals out there.  Unless someone is going to start chastising the Masons or the KoC or a few others, it would be difficult to see stopping someone for what is essentially a theatrical use of non-military medals.  I have one that was awarded in another country for something like "Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Labour", and it is far more impressive than some of the real military medals I was awarded on active service.  I won't have a problem wearing that one.


Z

Logged

Captain Sir Charles A. Lyerly, O.B.T.
Soldier of Fortune and Gentleman Adventurer
wire: captain_lyerly, at wire office "Yahoo dot Qom"

"You'd think he'd learn."
"Heh! De best minions neffer do!"
George Salt
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United Kingdom United Kingdom



« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2013, 09:15:15 am »

To an extent, you can avoid this by making your medals as over-the-top and flamboyant as possible.  If they don't look like true military medals it's less likely to offend - some of the order medals are very large.

Does a medal need a ribbon? - could your medals have feathers and/or brass chain?
Are you trying to do something with a medal that would be better done with a patch?
Avoid valour medals and look to alternatives (membership/fellowship of orders, companies and societies)

Logged
Mr. Boltneck
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States


« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 08:55:01 pm »

One possible source for inspiration might be to go back to the period from the early 17th Century to the end of the 18th Century, before things started to get more standardized. Medals, stars, and so forth were often created more or less as one-offs to commemorate a battle or action, or to recognize an exceptional commander, and tended to follow fashion or whim in many cases, as far as I can tell. Plus there are all the various decorations for chivalric orders, like the Garter, or the Golden Fleece, and early Masonic regalia, where each one is pretty much an individual variation on a theme.
Logged
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
United States United States


Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 09:19:30 pm »

We used to have other threads on this topic, you might find some useful opinions
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,37805.0.html
http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,36478.0.html
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 09:22:49 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

nellspaulding
Deck Hand
*
United States United States


Antiquarian and avenger


WWW
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2013, 12:43:36 am »

I have several that are quite obviously not military if you look at them closely, including one that's a boneshaker and another that's the Mona Lisa, dangling from paper flowers rather than a ribbon. If one were making one's own medals, there's also the possibility of getting ribbons that no military organization would ever use (brocade perhaps?) and attaching clearly non-military things to them.

I also have a bunch of little medals that I earned in school for things like honor societies, four years in choir, attendance, etc., and I like to use those because I did earn them.
Logged
Clym Angus
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Lord of Misrule


WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2013, 12:11:07 pm »

I do like the way this thread is going (mind you the other treads on this subject were conducted with good solid common sense also). The problem (as I see it) is one of legitimacy. Medals are accolades earned for actions done. To buy a medal and wear it is to elude to an act which may not be in your character to accomplish.

To wear the medals out of respect for fallen or passed family members keeps their acts and sacrifices in the thoughts of younger generations.

There is (to my mind) an inherent dishonesty to wearing real medals that you have no earned. With an unkinder thought it also starts ringing Walter Mitty alarm bells of a person who wants others to buy into their own personal day dream.

Still as the posts above illustrate the acts that bequeath medals are extremely diverse. So if you like medals (who doesn't) then your universal get out clause is thus:

"That's a nice medal, what's it for"

"It's a medal for being a practitioner of advanced fake medal making!"

"Bravo!"
Logged

andiS
Deck Hand
*
United Kingdom United Kingdom



WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2013, 09:03:03 pm »

Nobody of course has sported more medals, with more flamboyance, than Captain Alberto Bertorelli from 'Allo 'Allo....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZMTDDRVShM

I seem to remember him in one episode explaining that
"This one is for service in Egypt, this one is for service in Abyssinia,...and this one is for servicin' Fiats"

Logged
Dr von Zarkov
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


<Maddest Scientist>


« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2013, 12:39:34 am »

Only a cad wears a necktie of a regiment in which he has seen no service ... or a medal which he has not earned.
Logged

"The fact that I wear the protective coloration of sedate citizenship is a ruse of the fox — I learned it long ago."
– Loren Eiseley
Captain Lyerly
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Ukraine Ukraine


At the helm of the Frumious Bandersnatch


« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 01:11:03 am »

Of course, my dear Dr. von Z.  There are many sites out there that 'out' such lowlifes, claiming to have won the VC or the Medal of Honor - there is even a term for the deluded simpletons who would do such a thing, it's "walting" after Walter Mitty, of course.

But what does it take to earn a medal you have made up yourself?  The various 'secret societies' do so all the time, with all sorts of lofty and vague criteria.  We could make up the Honorary Brass Goggles Society Order of the Brazen Turkey, with various levels of award and membership.  And it would be just as valid as hundreds of civil awards, though without any military connection whatsoever.

Remember, again, that (for most of us) our Steampunk personae are essentially theatrical presentations.  I don't answer the phone as "Captain Lyerly", nor do I introduce myself as such - except when I am at a Steampunk function, when I am playing the role of a 19th Century Flashman-style soldier of fortune and Gentleman Adventurer (TM).  For Captain Lyerly, I have all sorts of gold ropes, shoulder knots, epaulettes, and medals - though I haven't worn any military ones, not even the ones I earned.  When someone plays a fictional Hero on stage, you wouldn't have him arrested for falsely claiming to be an officer, or for wearing a Purple Heart or Silver Star he hadn't earned; the actor is portraying a fictional character, and that character would not be properly done without those medals.


Cheers!

Chas.
Logged
Clym Angus
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Lord of Misrule


WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2013, 02:12:19 am »

Of course, my dear Dr. von Z.  There are many sites out there that 'out' such lowlifes, claiming to have won the VC or the Medal of Honor - there is even a term for the deluded simpletons who would do such a thing, it's "walting" after Walter Mitty, of course.

But what does it take to earn a medal you have made up yourself?  The various 'secret societies' do so all the time, with all sorts of lofty and vague criteria.  We could make up the Honorary Brass Goggles Society Order of the Brazen Turkey, with various levels of award and membership.  And it would be just as valid as hundreds of civil awards, though without any military connection whatsoever.

Remember, again, that (for most of us) our Steampunk personae are essentially theatrical presentations.  I don't answer the phone as "Captain Lyerly", nor do I introduce myself as such - except when I am at a Steampunk function, when I am playing the role of a 19th Century Flashman-style soldier of fortune and Gentleman Adventurer (TM).  For Captain Lyerly, I have all sorts of gold ropes, shoulder knots, epaulettes, and medals - though I haven't worn any military ones, not even the ones I earned.  When someone plays a fictional Hero on stage, you wouldn't have him arrested for falsely claiming to be an officer, or for wearing a Purple Heart or Silver Star he hadn't earned; the actor is portraying a fictional character, and that character would not be properly done without those medals.


Cheers!

Chas.

Thank you Chas, in all things there is a gray area of possible acceptability. Fortunately I consider acting to be "an inherent dishonesty" so I need not revise my earlier statement. I did try to be as broad as possible but as concise as necessary.
Logged
Dr von Zarkov
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


<Maddest Scientist>


« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2013, 04:15:56 pm »

But what does it take to earn a medal you have made up yourself?  ... When someone plays a fictional Hero on stage, you wouldn't have him arrested for falsely claiming to be an officer, or for wearing a Purple Heart or Silver Star he hadn't earned; the actor is portraying a fictional character, and that character would not be properly done without those medals.
Precisely, good sir. In my haste toward brevity, I neglected to indicate that I refer to authentic medals, decorations, and orders. DIY medals, with no pretense of personal heroism or accomplishment, are in the spirit of the game - fun.
Logged
Captain Lyerly
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
Ukraine Ukraine


At the helm of the Frumious Bandersnatch


« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2013, 02:22:30 am »

Ah!  My apologies then; chalk that up to my misunderstanding your post.

For those interested in what happens when people wear (and claim to have earned) real medals not their own...


NSFW for language.  It may also get a bit political, but the main purpose of the blog is finding and outing poseurs.



Chas.
Logged
IGetPwnedOften
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom


If at first you don't succeed, use a bigger hammer


« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2013, 01:41:14 am »

Coincidentally, I've been making some medals myself lately, and as someone who spent a fair portion of my youth in the armed forces and was awarded a few medals along the way, I agree wholeheartedly with the general consensus here.

It's odd really, because there's no reason why I couldn't wear my real medals with a Steampunk outfit, but I just wouldn't feel right doing so, and so I made ones like the Empire Explorers Medal, the Dirigible Pilot Long Service Medal and my latest, the Grand Order of the Spanner in the Works. For those I picked ribbons that are either plain or coloured in such a way to leave no doubt that they are not real (one of them is pink for example). One of them is red, white and blue, but the medal itself is clearly nothing "official".

As far as I recall it being explained to me (and it was many years ago so I could be wrong) it is permissable to wear medals awarded to a close relative, but you wear them on the right hand side rather than the left. There was a chap I served with who used to wear his dad's medals during Remembrance Day parades.

Logged

"Geoffrey, take their coats. No, not up the tree..."
Clym Angus
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Lord of Misrule


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2013, 11:56:55 am »

It already seems like we have a precedent here, medals for actions, medals for being some where, medals for being something or being a member of something.
I believe that certain organizers are already doing or thinking about event medals that can be stamped with attendance years.

This is a practice many other groups have adopted. From the deadly serious to the outright trivial. I would try and not make any medal like an already existing one (it is the height of bad manners to mock someone elses achievements). That said given the interest in cogs, sprockets and gears it's going to be fairly difficult not to piss off the Rotary club some where down the line (I jest of course).
Logged
Major Wolfram Quicksilver
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


If you can't make a mistake you can't make a thing


« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2016, 04:31:07 pm »

It's a bit of thread necromancy, and I apologise for that, but I didn't want to start a new thread dismissing other people's valid points and experiences.  Here's a recent youtube video I made regarding the wearing of medals and ribbons:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8h8by1lZ6Og&feature=youtu.be
Logged

'This job looks complicated, get a bigger hammer!'

'The 4lb lump hammer, also known as a Birmingham Screwdriver'

'Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is never putting them in a fruit salad.'
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2016, 05:55:49 pm »

Don't apologize. It's completely relevant, and you know how we feel about reanimating the dead around here. Wink
Logged
Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2016, 06:25:34 pm »

So, I wanted to share my personal thoughts and experiences on the matter, as well.

I used to do a great bit of re-enacting of World War II and Vietnam, and have service dress uniforms that I assembled in that pursuit. Both my World War II and Vietnam uniforms, both field and dress, have awards on them that are only appropriate in that context. I added said awards only after consulting with veterans and others who were all of the opinion that the wearing of any award like that should be done tastefully, appropriately, and as minimalistically as possible (meaning no combat infantry badge, or expert field medical award, etc, but that say a good conduct award or Vietnam service ribbon would have been okay, because they are appropriate to the time period), with a caveat. The biggest point was that at no point should I, or ethically could I, claim to have actually earned them, and that they were to be presented as a living historical item.

An example, when asked about the ribbons on my service dress uniform, I would say "this is a good conduct award, which was awarded to a soldier who did xxxxxx and met yyyyyy criteria, and this is a Vietnam service ribbon, which was given to every soldier who was deployed to Vietnam." My facts are a little shakey as this was a few years ago, but that's a good example of what is meant. Additionally, it was felt that it was appropriate to wear awards if portraying a real soldier who actually earned those awards, and teaching about them. For instance, portraying Col. Chamberlain after the battle of gettysburg, it would make sense that he would have the medal of honor (since he was awarded the medal of honor), but only using it on the grounds of saying "I am portraying Col Chamberlain at the battle of XXXX, and at this point, he had been awarded the medal of honor for his bayonet charge in the battle of gettysburg," or to portray General Patton during WW2 and only have awards on the uniform that General Patton actually had, and stating "I am portraying General George Patton, and he had been awarded x, y, z, a, b, and c." (all that being said, portraying a medal of honor recipient and possessing a real MOH would be... almost sacriligious to me, and I would never do it, but I knew someone who did as part of a presentation on the 20th Maine Infantry Regiment through the Civil War, so it made sense that he had those awards and laid them out on a table and talked about them, but he never wore them).

That being said, since I portrayed the 8th Engineer Battalion in Vietnam, and 1st ID in WW2, very few awards were appropriate to those portrayals, so I kept it to a bare minimum. Were I to wear medals with my steampunk costume, I would most likely stay minimalistic and use as many fake awards or non-military awards as possible, since Steampunk and re-enacting are... very different hobbies, and have a lot of very different boundaries.

Just wanted to share my thoughts on it.
Logged
19th Century Space Pilot
Snr. Officer
****
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Cererean
WWW
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2016, 08:41:32 pm »

I understand that ancestors medals are to be warn on the opposite side (the left..?)?

Where do people stand on the issue of including medals that ones ancestors have earned, if done appropriately? Particularly if portraying a persona. Could you have a persona who's grandparent earned the Military Medal if you yourself had such a grandparent? Would it be disrespectful?
Logged

Now for some shameless self promotion... http://needsmoremarshmallows.blogspot.co.uk/

 - Aetheric Aviatrix
von Corax
Squire of the Lambda Calculus
Board Moderator
Immortal
**
Canada Canada

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2016, 08:47:20 pm »

My gut feeling would be that one should only wear real honours if portraying the person who earned them, or when portraying oneself if an ancestor earned them. Personæ should stick to fictitious honours regardless of who earned them.
Logged
Mme. Ratchet
Officer
***
United States United States


« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2016, 10:49:20 pm »

Herr von Corax,

That's more or less what I was getting at. Keep in mind that my experiences are strictly from historical re-enacting, which is decidely not the same as steampunk.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.119 seconds with 16 queries.