Red Button

(A). A mandarin of the first class, whose badge of honour is a red button in his cap.

“An interview was granted to the admiral [Elliot] by Kishen, the imperial commissioner, the third man in the empire, a mandarin of first class and red button.” —Howitt: History of England, 1841, p. 471.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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