Correction appended, Sept. 27
President Barack Obama broke his own “no hats” rule on Monday when a leader from the Swinomish Tribe placed a woven headpiece on top of his head.
Obama was taking part in the White House Tribal Nations Conference, where leaders honored the president with a song and a blanket they draped over his shoulders. Obama, who was adopted by the Crow Nation in 2008, took off the hat after a moment and handed it back to Brian Cladoosby, chairman of the Swinomish Tribe and president of the National Congress of American Indians. He kept the blanket on for a little while longer.
“What an amazing honor, and what a kind gesture for the honor song and the blanket and the hat,” Obama said while addressing the crowd. “I have to say I’m also very glad that you also have a blanket for Michelle so she doesn’t steal mine. She would, too. I’m just saying.”
Obama called the gesture “moving,” and a “reminder of the great friendships that we’ve developed over the last eight years.”
Generally, Obama does not wear hats in acknowledgment of an unofficial rule that presidents should not wear headgear in public, according to Politico.
“Here’s the general rule: You don’t put stuff on your head if you’re president,” he said in 2013 when the Navy Academy’s football team presented him with a helmet. “That’s Politics 101: You never look good wearing something on your head.”
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly identified Brian Cladoosby. He is Chairman of the Swinomish Tribe and president of the National Congress of American Indians.