What You Need to Know About the Power Brooch Nancy Pelosi Wore to the Impeachment Proceedings
The House of Representatives officially voted to impeach President Donald Trump and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi took the occasion to pull out what some refer to as her "power brooch." The Huffington Post reports that during Wednesday’s impeachment proceedings, she opted to wear a replica of the Mace of the Republic, a symbol of the authority held by the House of Representatives.
According to the Office of the Historian, the mace is made of three distinct parts: a bundle of 13 rods, a globe, and an eagle with spread wings. If it looks familiar, it's present and accounted for every single time the House is in session. Before things get started, the sergeant-at-arms carries a ceremonial Mace of the Republic into the House chamber and sets it on a stand that sits to the right of the speaker. The Washington Post adds that Pelosi's brooch — which features a pearl — is from Washington, DC-based jeweler Ann Hand.
The bundled rods resemble fasces, which was a type of handle that the ancient Romans used for various axes and spears. It symbolizes the fact that people are stronger when they work together, since a group of rods is stronger than just a single one. The 13 rods also represent the original 13 colonies. USA Today notes that it became the symbol of the house in 1789 after a resolution sought to find "a proper symbol of office shall be provided for the Sergeant at Arms, of such form and device as the Speaker shall direct."
HuffPo adds that the actual mace serves a real purpose. If things get to be too much in the House Chamber, the speaker can request that the sergeant-at-arms actually take the mace and hand it to any offending parties. The current mace has been in use since 1842 and has actually been presented to a few unruly representatives. Pelosi wore the same pin during President Trump's State of the Union address in February.