World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Federal Cross of Merit

Article Id: WHEBN0002455198
Reproduction Date:

Title: Federal Cross of Merit  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Svante Pääbo, Theodor Busse, Nossrat Peseschkian, Alfred Wiener, Rudolf Drößler, Constanze Angela Krehl, Oldenburg Baby, Hubertus Hoffmann, Stig Guldberg, Jürgen Partenheimer
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Federal Cross of Merit

Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Special design of the Grand Cross 1st Class (left) and the Grand Cross Special Class (middle and right)
Awarded by the president of Germany
Type Order of Merit with seven regular and two special classes
Eligibility Civilians and military personnel
Statistics
Established 7 September 1951

Grand Cross Special Class


Grand Cross 1st Class (special design)

Grand Cross 1st Class

Grand Cross 2nd Class

Grand Officer's Cross

Commander's Cross

Officer's Cross

Knight's Cross

Merit Medal
Ribbon bars of the Order of Merit

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the only federal decoration of Germany. It was created by the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, on 7 September 1951. Colloquially, the decorations of the different classes of the Order are also known as Federal Cross of Merit (German: Bundesverdienstkreuz).

Most of the German federal states (Länder) have each their own order of merit as well, with the exception of the Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen and Hamburg, which reject any orders (by old tradition their citizens, particularly former or present senators, will refuse any decoration in the form of an order. Most famous example: former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt).

History

The order was established on 7 September 1951 by the decree of the then Federal President Theodor Heuss. The decree, which was co-signed by the President Heuss together with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and the Minister of the Interior, Robert Lehr, signed, states:

"Desiring to visibly express recognition and gratitude to deserving men and women of the German people and of foreign countries, on the second Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Germany, I establish the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. It is awarded for achievements that served the rebuilding of the country in the fields of political, socio-economic and intellectual activity, and is intended to mean an award of all those whose work contributes to the peaceful rise of the Federal Republic of Germany".

Classes

The Order comprises four groups with in total eight classes:[1]

  • Grand Cross (Großkreuz)
    • Grand Cross Special Class (Sonderstufe des Großkreuzes)
    • Grand Cross 1st Class (Großkreuz), sometimes with laurel wreath (special design; Großkreuz besonderer Ausführung)
  • Grand Merit Cross (Großes Verdienstkreuz)
    • Grand Cross 2nd Class, or Grand Merit Cross with Star and Sash (Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband)[2]
    • Grand Officer's Cross, or Grand Merit Cross with Star (Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern)
    • Commander's Cross, or Grand Merit Cross (Großes Verdienstkreuz)
  • Merit Cross (Verdienstkreuz)
    • Officer's Cross, or Merit Cross 1st Class (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse)
    • Knight's Cross, or Merit Cross on Ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande)
  • Merit Medal (Verdienstmedaille)

The President of the Federal Republic holds the Grand Cross Special Class ex officio. It is awarded to him in a ceremony by the President of the Bundestag, attended by the Chancellor of Germany, the President of the Bundesrat, and the Supreme Court President. Other than the German president, only a foreign head of state can be awarded with this highest class. There is also the provision of awarding the Grand Cross 1st Class in a special rare design, in which the central medallion with the black eagle is surrounded by a stylized laurel wreath in relief. This Grand Cross special design has been awarded so far only twice, to former German chancellors Konrad Adenauer and Helmut Kohl.[3]

Insignia

Except for the lowest class, the badge is the same for all classes, but with slightly different versions for men and women (slightly smaller badge and ribbon for women):

The badge is a golden Cross enamelled in red, with a central disc bearing a black eagle.

The star is a golden star with straight rays, its size and points vary according to class, with the badge superimposed upon it.

  • 8-pointed golden Star : Grand Cross Special Class
  • 6-pointed golden Star : Grand Cross 1st Class (with special design if golden oak crown between the cross branches around the medallion)
  • 4-pointed golden Star : Grand Cross 2nd Class (Grand Merit Cross with Star and Sash)
  • silver Square-upon-point : Grand Officer (Grand Merit Cross with Star)

The ribbon is red with gold-black-gold stripes.

See also

References

External links

  • The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Classes of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany with their official French, English, Spanish and Russian translations
  • The President of the Federal Republic of Germany webpage (German)
  • Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (German)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.