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The Serpent Strikes Back

Voting at the UN Security Council wearing the Serpent pin. | Photo Credit: Timothy Clary/Getty Images

Meeting with Iraqi Officials, 1997

When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright criticized Saddam Hussein, his poet-in-residence responded by calling her “an unparalleled serpent.” Shortly thereafter, when preparing to meet with Iraqi officials, Albright decided to make a diplomatic statement by wearing a snake pin (even though she did not like snakes). Although her method of communication was new, her message was as old as the American Revolution – Don’t Tread on Me! From that day on, pins became part of her diplomatic signature.

  • Title Serpent

  • Date circa 1860

  • Designer Unknown, USA

  • Materials 18kt Yellow Gold, Diamond

  • Size 2.4" x 1.1"
    (6.1cm x 2.8cm)