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A Frog, A Prince, and The Queen of Lapel Pins

i_0051Hi there and welcome to my blog. I’m R. Renée Jones aka The Lapel Pin Queen. I know, I know. You’re probably thinking that being the queen of lapel pins is rather insignificant. That wearing such a title is akin to being the Worm Gruntin’ Queen or the Queen of the Gilroy Garlic Festival.

But as any good queen will tell you, we women who are bestowed with royal titles take our duties very seriously! Although lapel pins are small (usually no more than an inch in height), they are far from insignificant.

Lapel pins have a rich history (for example, did you know that they have been an important part of every American war?). Furthermore, lapel pins are an unobtrusive and tasteful way to make a statement about your beliefs, affiliations, and values. Ask people about the pins they wear on their lapels, and you’ll most likely get engaging stories and deeper insight into them. Lapel pins are powerful and impactful; they are excellent conversation starters, instant builders of camaraderie, and strong visual messages.

That’s why I have taken it upon myself to exalt these hard-working little metal icons. This blog will be devoted to their world and to the worlds of the people who wear, collect and trade lapel pins. I will endeavor to share the stories behind the pins while sharing the history, etiquette, manufacturing techniques and newest innovations behind these hard-working messengers that grace the suits and shirts and hats and lanyards of people all over the world.

I encourage you to send me a photo of your favorite lapel pin and the story behind it so I can feature it here on this blog. And in that spirit, I thought I’d share the meaning behind one of the lapel pins that means the most to me. It belongs to princely husband, Robert.

the-princeI met my husband through my involvement with the Disabled Americans Veterans Auxiliary (DAVA), an organization that is near and dear to my heart. Robert and I had our second date at a DAV and DAV Auxiliary convention in Puerto Rico.

While on that date, we learned about the legend of the coqui frog. The coqui is a small tree frog indigenous to the Puerto Rican rain forest. It is a tiny little thing, but it makes a loud two-toned sound from dusk to dawn that sounds like this: ko-kee. The sound is beloved by the people of Puerto Rico because, according to local legend, ko-kee or “co-qui” means “I love you.”

After our special second date, Robert decided to wear a coqui frog every day on his lapel as a symbol of his love for me.  He still wears it to this day.  Ask my husband why he is wearing a frog on his shirt, jacket or lab coat and he’ll tell you a story about a frog, a prince, and The Queen of Lapel Pins.

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