When I got back home from yesterday’s hearing I wrote my friend at the Washington Post the following e-mail:
Subject: Are Tricorn Hats illegal in hearings around the U.S. Capitol?
Date: November 18, 2009 3:08:43 PM EST
There was a hearing today about DC’s legislative & budget autonomy.
I attended in my colonial attire that I’ve worn for 5 years to nearly every hearing that concerns the federal oversight of the District of Columbia. I’ve never made a disruption. But before the start of the hearing, an unnamed Hill staffer walked over to wear I was sitting in the third row and told me to remove the hat before the start of the hearing. I asked her why? And I stated that I have worn the hat for years, even in the very same room. She said it was the Chariman’s rules (Stephen F. Lynch). I told her I would, but she didn’t believe that I would take if off before the start of the hearing and called the U.S. Capitol Police.
Less than 5 minutes later, two officers entered the room, asked me to get up and come with them to the hallway. I obliged and was escorted out to the hallway. They asked for my ID and I asked if I was under arrest, they said not at the moment. They proceeded to run my name through the FBI’s National Crime Information Center to check to see if I had any existing warrants or previous arrests for civil disobedience. They asked for my social security number, for which I declined to provide. Since I came up clean in their records, and promised to not wear my hat for the duration of the hearing, I was allowed to return to the hearing, which had already started, still wearing my purple 18th century overcoat.
My question is: are tricorn hats now illegal in hearing rooms? Are all hats illegal? What about yarmulkes?
In Mary Beth Sheridan’s article from January she indirectly mentioned me wearing the tricorn hat:
“one in a purple colonial-style coat and a tricorn hat.”
A month later, I was cordially greeted by Senator Joseph Lieberman as “one of the District’s oldest residents,” while wearing the outfit.
In 2007 I was Roll Call’s photo of the week wearing the outfit (but outside).
With the somewhat recent co-opting of colonial era attire by tea party protesters, do you know if there have there been more arrests on the Hill by people wearing tricorn hats? Or was this just a staffer on a power trip? What does Rep. Stephen F. Lynch think about tricorn hats? I have every intention of carrying on this form of protest in the future until DC residents are fully represented in Congress, but am I going to have to wear a big white wig? Call me if you have a moment.
A couple quick e-mails later I was on the phone with Amy Argetsinger discussing what had happened. Since she already had the e-mail above, there wasn’t that much more to discuss, but I mentioned that their multimedia archives contained a photograph of me in the Colonial outfit that they could possibly use for publication. A few moments later they found the photograph from my Netscape Celebrity? blog entry (a self-fulfilling entry?). She asked if there were any more photographs of me in the Colonist outfit and I told her I would have to find them and get back to her…
Instead of trying to sift through thousands of photographs, few of which containing the D.C. Colonist, I decided to put the outfit back on, put my camera on a tripod, get an extension cord for my lamp, and relocate to my hallway. I placed the tripod opposite my 60″ x 40″ polyester map of the Mount Pleasant Cross and took about 10 photographs of myself using the timer function. I downloaded the photographs off my camera & did some minor color correcting, and sent her six self-portraits. Here is one of the other photos that they chose not to use:
Most of the photos were blurry due to the cheapness of the camera.
Like the difference that I spotted over the summer, the Print Edition contains two captions not found on the On-Line Edition: “Hats off to D.C. Statehood” , “Schiller’s Colonial garb didn’t make the cut this year” And the captions for my self-portrait are slightly different: “Courtesy of Nikolas Schiller” vs “A portrait provided by Schiller.”
Text of the article:
Tricorn trouble for D.C. voting rights protester
Until now, it was easy to pick out Nikolas Schiller at meetings about District oversight or voting rights: the dude in the tricorn hat.
But the artist/activist/blogger is questioning the future of his politically symbolic headgear options after Capitol Police rousted him out of a hearing Wednesday for wearing the hat.
Schiller, 29, a former co-chair of the D.C. Statehood/Green Party, took to wearing Colonial garb to hearings a few years ago to quietly protest the fact that, he said, “the status of D.C. residents has not changed since Colonial times.” At one meeting he was playfully greeted by Sen. Joe Lieberman as “one of the District’s oldest residents.”
On Wednesday, for a meeting of the congressional subcommittee that oversees the city, Schiller donned his usual purple overcoat, ruffled shirt and hat (but jeans instead of breeches: “It wasn’t as significant a hearing. … I didn’t want to go through the full lederhosen routine”). He said he was sitting in the room before it started when a staffer approached and told him to lose the hat, chairman’s rules. When Schiller protested that he’d worn the same hat in the same room for years, she called the police.
Outside the room, police asked for his ID and ran his name through the FBI database. He said they also asked for his Social Security number, but he refused. He was allowed back into the hearing, bareheaded.
A spokeswoman for the subcommittee disputed some of Schiller’s account, saying it “was all the Capitol Police’s doing.” Police did not get back to us by deadline with their side of the story. So Schiller wonders: Is this because the more raucous anti-tax “Tea Party” folks have adopted his Colonial look, too? “Are tricorn hats now illegal in hearing rooms? Are all hats illegal?”
Related Colonist Entries:
- DC Colonist Cartoon: “Court Declares State Voters Tax Exempt in D.C.” – Washington Evening Star, March 13, 1940
- DC Colonist Cartoon: “Keep Out of U.S. Elections” – Washington Star, November 5, 1940
- DC Colonist Cartoon: “Disenfranchisement" – Washington Star, November 4th, 1930
- Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbia's Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: "Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability"
- DC Colonist Cartoon: "Election Day" - Washington Star, November 4th, 1924
- Feature in today's Weekend Pass Section of the Washington Post's Express Newspaper: "Geo-Beautiful"
- YouTube Video Showing Where George Washington Grew Hemp at Mount Vernon
- 52 cents in change // 52 centavos en cambio
- 51 cents in change
- Photos from Emancipation Day 2010 by Elvert Barnes
- TO MAKE A STATE OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA - The New York Times, December 14, 1902
- Comments by Thomas Tredwell at the New York Ratifying Convention on July 2nd, 1788
- “Representation, Reforestation” Was Selected For The DC Urban Forest Project
- Second Class Citizen: A Shirt of Shame
- My Urban Forest Project Submission: "Representation, Reforestation"
- Justice Stafford Eloquent on Washington: Past, Present, and Future - The Washington Herald, May 9th, 1909
- Photograph of when an innocent card game made me feel sad
- The DC Colonist is now officially stock photo
- Pat Buchanan Prefers To Be A Colonist. I Do Not. [YouTube Video Clip of MSNBC's Morning Joe Show]
- My Response To Today's Washington Post Letter To The Editor By Ann Wass
- The D.C. Colonist Is The Subject Of A Letter To The Editor In Today's Washington Post
- The D.C. Colonist is featured today's The Reliable Source column in the Style Section of the Washington Post
- WAMU Coverage of the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service and the District of Columbia hearing titled "Greater Autonomy for the Nation's Capitol"
- TAFT STIRS CAPITAL BY SUFFRAGE SPEECH - The New York Times, May 10th, 1909
- The D.C. Statehood Vote - The Washington Post, November 20th, 1993
- Tax Fairness for D.C. - The New York Times, October 30th, 1993
- D.C. Statehood - The Washington Post, January 13th, 1993
- Statehood for the District of Columbia - The Boston Globe, December 2nd, 1992
- The State of Misgovernment - The New York Times, July 21st, 1992
- Grant D.C. Residents Full Rights - The Oregonian, April 15th, 1992
- The D.C. Plantation: Freedom Soon? - The New York Times, November 25th, 1991
- Free the Government's Plantation - The New York Times, October 6th, 1991
- Statehood for the District of Columbia - The Minneapolis Star and Tribune, June 27th, 1987
- Why Not Statehood for D.C. Citizens? - Seattle Times, May 11th, 1987
- [Washington Times] CITIZEN JOURNALISM: D.C. Voters Eye 51st-State Status By Ann Loikow
- The sign I posted outside of MTV's Real World DC house is transcribed in today's Washington Post
- A message to MTV's Real World DC cast members: IN THE REAL WORLD ALL AMERICANS DESERVE FULL REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS
- Happy 4th of July, but remember...
- Obama can't criticize Chavez on at least one issue
- Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton & Senator Joe Lieberman introduce a D.C. Statehood Bill
- What! A Bicycle Rifle? Yes?
- Thomas Jefferson's Map of Washington from March 31st, 1791
- Text of H.R. 259 - An act to retrocede the county of Alexandria, in the District of Columbia, to the State of Virginia
- YouTube video of DC Colonists demonstrating at the first Nationals game at RFK Stadium
- "Let Us Now End American Colonialism" - A speech by Ernest Gruening delivered to the Delegates of the Alaska Constitutional Convention on November 9, 1955
- The 23rd Amendment - Time Magazine - March 31, 1961
- The D.C. Colonist receives a warm welcome from Senator Joe Lieberman at today's Business Meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Hey Google & YouTube, those are not my Senators! I have no Senators!
- Hey Google & YouTube, that is not my Representative or Delegate!
- Washington Post Video of last night's Statehood Forum
- Indirectly mentioned in today's Washington Post
- YouTube Video featuring the 6pm News Coverage Mashup of the 2009 DC House Voting Rights Act
- Interviewed on MSNBC this morning
- Welcome to DC, we have no vote, we have no voice.
- YouTube Video of Newschannel 8's coverage of the "YES WE CAN - DC STATEHOOD NOW" poster
- Plagiarizing the official Inaugural Map to include a political message
- Yes We Can - DC Statehood Now!
- [FOUND MAP] New York City: The 51st State
- The American Flag in a 51 Star Configuration with One Star Removed
- My DC license plate redesign was discussed today on the WAMU's The Kojo Nnamdi Show
- DC.gov website confuses Statehood with Voting Rights & Representation
- What D.C. Statehood Would Mean To Black America - Ebony, October, 1990
- One Third Representation Flyer Posted Outside of Busboys & Poets
- The Organization For Security And Cooperation In Europe Continues To Press The US Goverment on Full Congressional Representation for D.C. Residents
- Quart Bag: A Community Art Show at the Civilian Art Projects
- The Dr. Bill Show!
- DC Residents say they want full democracy, like New Delhi.
- Experimenting with Facebook's advertisement system [part 3 - Twenty Phantom Women]
- ABSOLUT STATEHOOD
- The maps on Google Analytics suffer from Washington, DC's exclusion
- Google Charts API now includes small maps, but leaves out Washington, DC.
- Roll Call's Photo of the Week features the DC Colonist
- Voting Rights March Recap
- D.C. Voting Rights March...
- Fun with MyGoogleMaps...
- OSCE Finds US Government Violates Human Rights
- The U.S. Capitol is Off-Limits to the Public: An Exploration of Censorship's Perimeter
- Tom Davis Supports Statehood?
- THE GEOCOLONIAL SLOTS - Match 3 for Statehood!
- Interactive Inequality #3
- Interactive Inequality #2
- Interactive Inequality
- Lost in America's Last Colony
- Censored today in theMail...
- The New DC Flag...if HR 328 passes...
- Take 1/3 of a day off work for 1/3 Representation
- Third of representation a start, but not enough
- The New DC License Plate.. if H.R. 5388 passes
- Dennis Hastert's Office 3 Years ago... yesterday
- Is the DC Colonist a Netscape Celebrity?
- Salt Lake Tribune covers the D.C. Colonist
- ABC 7 Covers the D.C. Colonist...
- The DC Colonist is in a Scripts Howard wire report
- Taxation Without Representation Google Map
- I am featured in the Green Party's "Green Pages"
- I am mentioned in the Northwest Current
- International Body Backs Vote for D.C.
- OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopts Washington Declaration
- Censorship on the 4th of July
- Examiner Coverage of our OSCE Maritime Lobbying Effort
- We've got the support-
- The first DC Democracy Naval Battle
- Out of Committee
- Liberté, égalité, fraternité - OSCE
- Sway with me
- OSCE Rally Friday!
- DC City Council Passes OSCE Resolution
- DC Colonists video clip
- The D.C. Colonist makes his baseball debut!
- DCist Covers the Colonist
- DC Colonists - Flyer & Press Release
- The D.C. Colonist in the Washington Post
- The Colonist in the Post
- Congress Passes District's Budget
- It's Official....
- a Great B.A.D. Day
- B.A.D. Day Schedule
- B.A.D. Day is tomorrow
- B.A.D. Day Call to Action!
- its starting to get B.A.D.