Hairpins made of metal, ivory, bronze, carved wood, etc. were used in ancient Assyria and Egypt for securing decorated hairstyles. Such hairpins suggest, as graves show, that many were luxury objects among the Egyptians and later the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans. Major success came in 1901 with the invention of the spiral hairpin by New Zealand inventor Ernest Godward. This was a predecessor of the hair clip.
The hairpin may be decorative and encrusted with jewels and ornaments, or it may be utiliarian, and designed to be almost invisible while holding a hairstyle in place.
Some hairpins are a single straight pin, but modern versions are more likely to be constructed from different lengths of wire that are bent in half with a u-shaped end and a few kinks along the two opposite portions. The finished pin may vary from two to six inches in final length. The length of the wires enables placement in several styles of hairdos to hold the style in place. The kinks enable retaining the pin during normal movements.
A hairpin patent was issued to Kelly Chamandy in 1925.
Hate law regulations can be divided into two types: those which are designed for public order and those which are designed to protect human dignity. Those designed to protect public order require a higher threshold to be violated, so they are not specifically enforced frequently. For example, in Northern Ireland, as of 1992 only one person was prosecuted for violating the regulation in twenty one years. Those meant to protect human dignity have a much lower threshold to be violated, so those in Canada, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands seem to be frequently enforced.
Enforcement of laws regarding hate speech in the USA can interfere with constitutional rights to freedom of speech. Court rulings often must be reexamined to ensure the U.S. Constitution is being upheld in the ruling on whether or not the words count as a violation.
France prohibits by its penal code and by its press laws public and private communication which is defamatory or insulting, or which incites discrimination, hatred, or violence against a person or a group of persons on account of place of origin, ethnicity or lack thereof, nationality, race, specific religion, sex, sexual orientation, or handicap. The law prohibits declarations that justify or deny crimes against humanity, for example, the Holocaust (Gayssot Act).
The Dutch penal code prohibits both insulting a group (article 137c) and inciting hatred, discrimination or violence (article 137d). The definition of the offences as outlined in the penal code is as follows:
Article 137c: He who publicly, orally, in writing or graphically, intentionally expresses himself insultingly regarding a group of people because of their race, their religion or their life philosophy, their heterosexual or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental disability, shall be punished by imprisonment of no more than a year or a monetary penalty of the third category.
Article 137d: He who publicly, orally, in writing or graphically, incites hatred against, discrimination of or violent action against person or belongings of people because of their race, their religion or their life philosophy, their gender, their heterosexual or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental disability, shall be punished by imprisonment of no more than a year or a monetary penalty of the third category.
In January 2009, a court in Amsterdam ordered the prosecution of Geert Wilders, a Dutch Member of Parliament, for breaching articles 137c and 137d. On 23 June 2011, Wilders was acquitted of all charges. In 2016, in a separate case, Wilders was found guilty of both insulting a group and inciting discrimination for promising an audience that he would deliver on their demand for there to be "fewer Moroccans".