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Category: Patriotic Lapel Pins

Elephant and Donkey Promotional Products Want Your Vote!

act-elephants-and-donkeysYou don’t have to be a nature enthusiast to wonder why unusual animals symbolize America’s two major political parties. Over the years, the donkey and the elephant have become the accepted symbols of the Democratic and Republican parties. Some Democrats might joke about the elephant being slow and conservative, but the Republicans think it is dignified and intelligent. On the other hand, some Republicans might regard the donkey as ungainly and ornery, but the Democrats claim it is humble and courageous.

According to the Washington Post, it was famed 1870s newspaper cartoonist Thomas Nast¬†-the man also responsible for sketching Santa Claus with a generous stomach- who associated each party with its respective animal.¬† Although the Democrats have never officially adopted the donkey as a party symbol, they have used various donkey designs on publications and promotional products over the years. The Republicans have actually adopted the elephant as their official symbol.¬† They use the design widely in promotional products. To honor the role of each animal in its party’s history, here are some promotional products for your next political shindig:

act-plush-bank-elephantHere’s an adorable elephant, perfect for the kid in your life, or the “big kids” helping out¬†with your campaign.¬† It¬†doubles as a bank, making it the perfect ‘thank you’ for campaign contributions. ¬†We have an array of family-friendly promotional products for this election cycle. Why not giveaway a stuffed animal at your next political fundraiser?

Looking for a promotional product that is a tad more traditional? At ACT, we can customize donkey or elephant shaped-signs and placards for your next candidate fundraiser or rally.

act-democrat-party-packWill you be on the edge of your seat on election night? Try our donkey and elephant-shaped stress toys! These cute little squeezables are sure to brighten your mood and can be customized, too.  Throwing a large party? Go for a complete party pack like this one:

Did you know that A Creative Touch¬†has more than 500 elephant and donkey-themed promotional products to choose from and that we can customize many of our items to your exact specifications? If you’re looking to celebrate this election cycle, contact us for your promotional product needs!

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Political Promotional Products Win Big!

act-political-campaign-buttonsDo you remember “I LIKE IKE”? Ever since the catchy Eisenhower button debuted in the 1950s, political campaign items have become “must have” promotional products, widely known in our pop culture.¬† For the 1984 election cycle, Ronald Reagan and George Bush chose buttons with the re-election slogan “Keep America Great.” More recent elections have popularized products emblazoned with official campaign images, like Shepard Fairey’s famous¬† “Hope” poster from the 2008 Obama campaign, which was later purchased by the Smithsonian museum.

However, today’s campaigns aren’t limited to simple buttons, signs, and posters.¬† Instead, the variety of campaign promotional products available is endless. Candidates and their teams can chose from an assortment of items that voters can use on an everyday basis. These items can include mugs, keychains, lanyards, magnets, and cups, just to name a few possibilities. Popular wearable campaign items come in a variety of forms, too, including hats, buttons, sweatshirts, and t-shirts, designed to let everyone know who the wearer supports, regardless of whether you’re running for mayor or PTA president. Along with the classic bumper stickers and yard signs, voters can pledge their allegiance to a candidate in more unconventional ways, with promotional products like teddy bears, foam fingers, and balloons.¬† If you are organizing a campaign, these images may be the way that voters remember your candidacy.

In fact, decades after their release, some campaign promotional products-everything from commemorative coins to posters-are still popular and valuable collector’s memorabilia.¬† One organization, American Political Items Collectors, works with many presidential museums to exhibit remarkable or rare campaign items. Hobbyists and collectors often chose to build collections based on their favorite historical figure, state, or campaign. One collector purchased a single 1924 button depicting candidates John Davis and Charles Bryan for a record $150,000 in 2000.

Collectors’ interests range from famous figures like President Lincoln to lesser-known candidates like Davis and Bryan, as well as historic movements like Prohibition or Women’s Suffrage. Present-day candidates and aspiring officeholders are wise to think about creating visually appealing promotional products that will stand the test of time and become collector’s items for our future generations. Taking care in choosing the best image for your promotional products is an important part of every election campaign, whether you’re running for national office or campaigning to be your organization’s treasurer.

At A Creative Touch, we focus on the kind of quality service and promotional product delivery that will make your campaign stand out from the crowd.

Ribbon Awareness Lapel Pins

act-ribbon-awarenessPerhaps the most popular lapel pins available today are ribbon awareness lapel pins.¬† If you were around in the ’70s, then you must remember the huge Tony Orlando and Dawn hit, Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree.¬† This is my earliest recollection of a ribbon awareness pin, but the tradition dates back much further than that.¬† ¬†

The origin of yellow ribbons as a token of remembrance goes back to the 19th century when women allegedly wore a yellow ribbon in their hair to signify their devotion to a husband or sweetheart serving in the U.S. Cavalry.

Of course, these days, yellow ribbons are joined with ribbons of every color of the rainbow.¬† Many groups, organizations and foundations have adopted ribbons to represent their causes.¬† Often, ribbons have multiple meanings or causes attached to them, making it difficult to create a comprehensive and fully accurate list.¬† But, we’ve attempted to identify some of the most common awareness lapel pins:

Pink ribbons are most commonly associated with breast cancer awareness and childhood cancer awareness.

Yellow ribbons signify support of our troops, but they can also serve as a symbol for MIA/POW, adoptive parents, amber alerts, bladder cancer, spina bifida, and endometriosis. A yellow ribbon with a heart is used to represent the survivors left behind after a suicide.

Red ribbons are most commonly affiliated with the fight against AIDS and HIV.  This ribbon color is also a symbol for heart disease, stroke, substance abuse, MADD, DARE, Epidermolysis Bullosa, and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

A burgundy ribbon¬†represents brain aneurysms, Cesarean sections (worn upside down), headaches, hemangioma, vascular malformation, hospice care, multiple myeloma, William’s syndrome, Thrombophilia, Antiphospholid Antibody Syndrome, and adults with disabilities.

Purple ribbons are used for pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, domestic violence, ADD, alzheimer’s, religious tolerance, animal abuse, the victims of 9/11, Crohn’s disease and colitis, cystic fibrosis, lupus, leimyosarcoma, and fibromyalgia.

Blue ribbons are used to symbolize the fight against drunk driving, child abuse prevention, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), the victims of hurricane Katrina, dystonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), alopecia, Education, Epstein-Barr Virus, Save the Music and many other causes. 

Dark blue ribbons symbolize arthritis, child abuse prevention, victim’s rights, free speech, water quality, and water safety.

A light blue ribbon is a symbol of childhood cancer (alternative color: pink), prostate cancer, Trisomy 18, and scleroderma.

Teal ribbons are used for ovarian, cervical, and uterine cancers as well as sexual assault, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and tsunami victims.

The color green (green ribbon) is a symbol of childhood depression, missing children, open records for adoptees, environmental concerns, kidney cancer, tissue/organ donation, homeopathy, and worker and driving safety.

Orange is the ribbon color used to represent leukemia, hunger, cultural diversity, humane treatment of animals, and self-injury awareness.

White ribbons honor victims of terrorism, violence against women, peace, right to life, bone cancer, adoptees, and retinal blastoma.

A pearl ribbon is a symbol for emphysema, lung cancer, mesothelioma, and multiple sclerosis.

 Black ribbons represent mourning, melanoma, and gang prevention.

Brown ribbons are an anti-tobacco symbol.

Grey ribbons stand for diabetes, asthma, and brain cancer.

Silver ribbons are used to represent children with disabilities, Parkinson’s disease, and mental illnesses such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Gold ribbons are a symbol for childhood cancer.

If you’ve ever seen a ribbon made of fabric that resembles a jigsaw puzzle, you are looking at a symbol for autism.¬† See our blog post, Pinning it Forward.

Rainbow ribbons represent gay pride and support for the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender community and their quest for equal rights.

Lace ribbons are a symbol for osteoporosis.

Pink and blue ribbons represent miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant death due to SIDS or other causes.

Flag ribbons are a symbol for both the victims and heros of the 9/11 attacks. They also symbolize patriotism and support of our troops.  Appropriately, flag ribbons are also a symbol of fireworks safety.

No matter which lapel pin ribbon color you choose to represent awareness for a meaningful cause, we hope you will not only wear it with pride, but use it as a way to start conversations that lead to prevention, cures, and hope.

Honoring Our Veterans

act-poppy-pinVeteran’s Day is a very special day for A Creative Touch.¬† Not only is it an opportunity to officially honor our veterans for their service to our country, it is also closely linked to the history of our company.¬†

Veteran’s Day is also referred to as Poppy Day ¬†in relation to the poppy’s symbolism of Remembrance.¬† Poppies owe their association with the holiday to a poem, In Flanders Fields,¬†written in 1915 by Canadian military physician John McCrae.¬† After witnessing the death and funeral of a friend, he wrote the poem which refers to the poppies that covered the cemeteries where war casualties were buried in Flanders, Belgium.

The poem (found at the bottom of this post) found its way into the pages of Punch magazine. By 1918 the poem was well known throughout the allied world. Moina Michael, an American woman, wrote these lines in reply.

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies

She then adopted the custom of wearing a red poppy in memory of the sacrifices veterans made in war.  A French women, Madame Guerin, visiting the United States, learned of the custom and took it one step further. When she returned to France she decided to make red poppies by hand and sell them to raise money for the benefit of the orphaned and destitute women and children in war torn areas of France. This tradition spread to Canada, The United States and Australia and is still followed today.

Today the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion Auxiliary exchange poppies for a donation that benefits disabled and hospitalized veterans.¬†¬† Poppies make perfect lapel pins for sentimental and patriotic reasons–and they’re beautiful.¬† Be sure to wear a poppy on your lapel today in honor of all of the brave¬†men and women who have served our country!

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields. 

How to Make a Lapel Pin

Ever wonder how custom lapel pins are made?¬† You’ll be surprised at all of the work (much of it done by hand!)¬†that goes into making these miniature pieces of wearable art….

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A Brief History of Lapel Pins

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Photo from the Smithsonian Museum; Click Image for Link

The earliest lapel pins were made as adornment, rather than statements and are difficult to distinguish from pins or brooches. Lapel pins, however, are typically smaller in size than decorative pins and brooches, usually measuring no higher than one inch.

During the American Civil War, lapel pins were introduced to the armed forces. They were worn by a soldier to distinguish which unit he was fighting in, and to encourage a sense of loyalty and camaraderie within the unit.

But by World War I, the significance of the lapel pin had changed. Instead of being given to all soldiers as a way to differentiate units, lapel pins were awarded to select individuals to distinguish them for exemplary service in the field. Using lapel pins as an award for service is still a common practice in all branches of the armed forces today.

Inspired by their military use, politicians and patriotic citizens started wearing pins to show support for their country. Wearing patriotic lapel pins is a global tradition that extends from the United States to China to Russia.

Later, other groups began using lapel pins. Civic organizations, religious groups, fraternities and sororities, for example, often wear membership pins to their meetings and events. Lapel pins are also used by schools, sports teams, charities, and businesses to promote loyalty and rapport. Colored ribbon lapel pins are also a popular way to raise awareness for causes like breast cancer, child abuse and domestic violence.

For more on the history of lapel pins, read this article from ehow.com .

Lapel Pin Diplomacy

act-read-my-pinsMy friend Star Sosa of Spectrum Art & Jewelry told me about a wonderful book by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.  Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box, was published in conjunction with the Museum of Arts and Design’s first major exhibition of jewelry from Ms. Albright’s personal collection.

Why should the world care about Madeleine Albright’s pins? Well, turns out they were an important factor in recent history. The story goes that Albright, the first female Secretary of State became known for wearing brooches during diplomatic meetings that purposefully conveyed her views.

It started when Albright criticized Saddam Hussein and in return, Hussein‚Äôs poet in residence called her “an unparalleled serpent.” Shortly thereafter, while preparing to meet with Iraqi officials, Albright decided to make a diplomatic statement by wearing a snake pin she happened to have in her jewelry box. From that day forward, pins became part of Albright’s diplomatic communication.

 

For example, when Ms. Albright thought negotiations would likely go well, she would wear a balloon pin. She also frequently wore a dove pin given to her by Leah Rabin, wife of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated in 1995 by a radical opposed to Rabin’s role in peace efforts. Later, Leah Rabin presented Albright with a matching dove necklace, and told her, “In your job one dove of peace is not going to be enough.”

As the Queen of Promotional Products, one of the things I find most interesting about Albright’s collection is that it is not particularly valuable in terms of the jewelry itself. Many of the pins owned by the former Secretary of State are mass-produced, inexpensive pieces (like the ones we sell here) that she picked up or received as token gifts during her diplomatic globe-trotting.

The Museum of Arts and Design will be holding on to Albright‚Äôs pin collection for a while; because it is a traveling exhibit, Ms. Albright will not get her pins back for at least two years. This didn‚Äôt seem to bother her. According to USA Today, the museum curator said Albright saw the long delay as an opportunity ‚ÄĒ to buy more pins.

20 Reasons for Lapel Pins

Flag lapel pinI love lapel pins because they an unobtrusive and tasteful way to make a statement about your beliefs, affiliations, and values.

These hard-working little metal billboards are one of the most low-cost, yet effective ways to deliver a message. They’re also excellent conversation starters, instant builders of camaraderie, and strong visual messages.  Looking for a reason to wear a lapel pin? I’ve got plenty for you.

You can wear a lapel pin to:

20. Dress Up or Decorate Your Lapel
19. Brag About Receiving Special Employee Recognition or a Prestigious Award
18. Identify Your Membership in a Fraternity or a Sorority
17. Demonstrate Your Affiliation with a Professional Organization
16. Support a Charity or a Cause
15. Cheer for a Sports Team
14. Show Your Holiday Spirit
13. Commemorate an Anniversary
12. Celebrate Your First Parachute Jump, Kayaking Adventure, or Yoga Retreat
11. Show That You’ve Joined a Club
10. Break the Ice at a Networking Event
9. Promote Your Business
8. Create Awareness About Breast Cancer, AIDS, Autism, etc.
7. Prove That You’ve Been to a Museum, the Hard Rock Café, Disneyworld, etc.
6. Encourage Pin Collectors and Traders to Trade with You
5. Promote a Sale, a Special Promotion, or an Upcoming Event
4. Identify Yourself as a Conference or Trade Show Attendee
3. Show Your Loyalty to a Branch of the Military or a Civic Organization
2 Advertise Your Interests, Hobbies, and Beliefs
1. Show Your Patriotism

So what are you waiting for? Give me a call and we’ll help you design your own personal lapel pin billboard today!

Real Men Wear Lapel Pins

Real men may not eat quiche, but they do wear lapel pins! Many thanks to Lizzie Garrett, DesignWatcher.com blogger, for creating this wonderful photo collection of male celebrities sporting lapel pins.

If you’re a man who wears a lapel pin, you might be glad to know that you’re in the company of Jay Z, Will Smith, Prince Charles, Stephen Colbert (left), and Peter O’ Toole.¬† Even French President Nicolas Sarkozy wears a lapel pin that denotes his membership in France’s most prestigious society: the L√©gion d’Honneur. The French¬†government awards membership to ¬†those who have somehow contributed to the glory of France.

Tell us all about your special lapel pin story! Fill in our Online Form or print out a Paper Form and mail it to us.

Click here to email your lapel pin photo.

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