Like haiku or hieroglyphics, diplomatic language often requires interpretation. But the new Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, has taken the semiotics of diplomacy to a new level. She literally wears her feelings on her lapel, but she makes her point subtly, with brooches. "Everyone will just have to read my pins," she says. Below, a selection from the Albright collection, with accompanying interpretation.

Albright likes to wear the eagle and top hat on her trips abroad as symbols of American power and glory. She most recently wore both when she met Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow in February. The goat...

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