Practices developed among nations in the course of their contacts with one another define the essence of protocol. Protocol is the combination of good manners and common sense, which allows effective communications between heads of state and their representatives. It is not static. Rather, it is an evolving science that, over the years, has lost much of its traditional pomp and picturesque ceremony. Changes in accepted protocol, however, are best left to the highest policy-forming officers in the Department of State. Errors in protocol may be mistaken as a signal of a change in the international climate. Persons using this pamphlet are cautioned that unauthorized innovations in protocol, however well intentioned, are improper. Etiquette encompasses the body of manners and forms prescribed by custom, usage, or authority. It is accepted as correct behavior when people deal with one another. Etiquette preserves respect for the rights and dignities of others.
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