Assembly one of the few to retain this symbol of kings

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Each day, when the General Assembly is in session, 81-year-old Bud Roderick slips on a pair of white gloves.

At precisely three minutes before the gavel bangs in the House of Delegates, Roderick - dressed always in a blue blazer, gray slacks, white shirt - opens a glass case, tenderly removes a golden mace and carries it on extended arms into the chamber.

In a Capitol rich with pomp, few things embody it more than Virginia's solid silver, 24-karat-coated ceremonial mace.

Weighing in at 10 pounds plus, measuring nearly 4 feet long with a head that's shaped like a crown, the staff is a throwback to the days of kings and queens....

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