A meme too lovely to ever let die.

THE Shadow Ring was never worn by anyone, being a construct by Walter B. Gibson, and worn by his greatest fictional character, The Shadow. It was a ring given to him by a White Russian, and the design is clearly inspired by Carl Faberge: a ring with a thin veneer of girasol opal, with a hidden catch, which swung open to reveal a small diamond inside. Whoever wore this ring was bound by a secret and unnamable pact.

In the radio show, it was one of the first merchandise tie-ins. Though it didn't decypher codes, nor have any "magical" properties, it stirred the imagination enough for several thousand New Yorkers in the depths of the 1932 Depression to buy one. Jewelers up and down Fifth Avenue were perplexed by socialites dropping pot-metal-and-rhinestone rings on their desks, being told "Copy this." with exacting instructions as to how to execute it. Being seen with a Shadow ring cut across all possible ethnic, age, and social boundaries as everyone just had to have one.

Street & Smith (Gibson's employers) pressed him for details: what WAS that pact? On one historic evening, with the ears of the world listening, Lamont Cranston intoned:

And this be the pact of the Shadow Ring:

Obey all law, no matter what it takes. Write letters, and vote against bad laws.
If you see law being broken, inform.This doesn't have to be the police, per se, but tell someone.
If you see anyone with this ring in trouble, help them.

In an age when everyone knew cops were on the take, and lawlessness was breaking out everywhere, many signed the Shadow Pledge.

Kind of beats Stop Snitching, doesn't it?

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.