I'm interested in the dynamics of this discussion: is it breaking down on "military/non-military background" lines, or is it something else. I'm thinking I'm seeing a respect-for-the-uniform kind of thing going on here. Is that the case gt? I'm of the mind that I, as one who never served, can't fully appreciate a uniform as something more than clothing.
that may be it, DR, my feeling falls on two issues - I don't like the idea of adult men "dressing up" wearing clothes that are designed and decorated specifically for group or task or field that they are not part of - for instance "cowboy clothes" or a "firemans coat" etc. the other is definatly a pride thing - a regimental tie/hat/shirt is something that is earned and should be worn by somebody who has either earned it or, in rare exeptions, a close family member of same. I worked very very hard for the right to wear my red beret, and won the right to wear my lapel pin by putting myself in harms way. I would take offence if I saw somebody who didn't have the right to wear either wearing them. but I think that this has some flexibility - I recently bought an antique aviators watch. it has no insignia on it, but part of the reason that I bought it is the idea that it's history was cool. no body would see me and think that I may be a wwii pilot, and 99% of the people who see me won't register it as a pilots watch (the only way that I know it is a pilots watch is that an old RAF pilot friend of mine told me). I also have several ex-communist artifacts, minus the insignia, and what might have been an official issue french navy peacoat in wwii, minus insignia. but these are all things that in no way indicate membership in an organization. I was a little borderline about a regiment that had been disbanded 50 years ago, but I still feel that that is not "me".