At the 88th annual Oscar Ceremony held February
28, 2016, Vice President Joe Biden introduced Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til
It Happens to You.” The Best Original
Song nominee was from the documentary The
Hunting Ground. In his remarks, Biden
encouraged viewers to advocate for the survivors of sexual assault, the focus
of the “It’s on Us” campaign initiated in 2014.

The serious subject matter was one of many touched on
throughout the evening.  But it was still
“the Oscars”, and as such, fashion also took center stage. Not to be outdone,
the Vice President sported a unique set of tuxedo studs and U.S. flag lapel
pin. C. Forbes, Inc. has produced limited edition sets of tuxedo studs,
embellished with the eagle from the Seal of the Vice President, and U.S. flag lapel pins, for
the previous and current administrations. The Vice President’s signature is
displayed on the reverse side of the pin.

While it may seem commonplace to see U.S. flags as lapel
adornments, the trend is relatively recent in historical terms. Historians and
collectors of flag memorabilia concur that flag lapel pins were rare before the
1950’s. Although other pieces of jewelry, such as cufflinks and brooches,
exhibited the symbol, it was not until the late 1960’s and into the early ‘70s
that flag lapel pins became part of mainstream culture, albeit controversially.

Anti-war protesters wore flags as shirts and other
non-traditional uses. Republican candidates wore flag pins to show solidarity
against protesters. The biography Nixon,
by Stephen Ambrose, indicates that President Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H.R.
Haldeman, suggested he wear a pin after seeing one in Robert
Redford’s film The Candidate. Nixon
took the advice, and instructed all of his aides to do the same. The public
took notice. The popularity of lapel pins was cyclical, rising again during the
first Gulf War alongside flag patches and yellow ribbons as symbols of
patriotism. 

After 9/11, the White House administration wanted to emphasize
American resilience and unity by wearing flag lapel pins. C. Forbes, Inc.
provided custom rectangular pins for distribution among aides, staff and
visiting dignitaries. This continued into the current administration. C.
Forbes, Inc. is also proud to offer a variety of jewelry, such as cufflinks,
brooches, and lapel pins adorned with emblems unique to the USA. Please visit
our products section to view our offerings or contact us about custom items.