Who Wears Red Fez Hats?

by Denise Sodaro

A fez is a flat-on-top, conical shaped hat. It originated in Morocco, and was also favored by the Ottoman Empire, which became Turkey. A fez can also have a turban wrapped around it.

Turkish Army

A red fez with a blue tassel was worn by the Turkish army until the adoption of the modern dress uniform in the 1950s.


The Zoauves were French soldiers serving in North Africa. Their uniform was distinctive, with baggy trousers, a fitted jacket and the fez.

Greek Army

The fez is part of the parade uniform of the Presidential Guard of Athens and is worn on ceremonial occasions.


The fez, known as “peci,” is part of the Indonesian culture and is often worn for ceremonial occasions.


Shriners are Freemasons, an organization dedicated to charity and working with sick children. The Shriners were founded in 1872 and belong to the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America. Shriners first have to be Master Masons. The red fez, embroidered with gold, is in keeping with their Arabic theme.

About the Author

Denise Sodaro is a career writer. Her articles have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and Newsday. Her interests are eclectic; ranging from pet care to medicine and everything in between. Sodaro writes fiction and screenplays, several of which have won awards. She has a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and a Master of Science from Adelphi University.