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The National Order of the Legion of Honour (french: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur), formerly the Royal Order of the Legion of Honour (') is the highest French
order of merit An order of merit is an honorific order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, tr ...
, both
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or par ...

military
and civil. Established in 1802 by
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
, it has been retained (and slightly altered) by all later French governments and régimes. The order's
motto A motto (derived from the Latin language, Latin ''muttum'', 'mutter', by way of Italian language, Italian ''motto'', 'word', 'sentence') is the general motivation or intention of an individual, family, social group or organization. Mottos are usuall ...

motto
is ' ("Honour and Fatherland"), and its
seat SEAT S.A. (, ; ''Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo'') is a Spanish car manufacturer, which sells its vehicles under the SEAT and Cupra brands. It was founded on 9 May 1950, by the Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI), a Spanish stat ...
is the
Palais de la Légion d'Honneur The Palais de la Légion d'honneur ( French for "Palace of the Legion of Honour") is a historic building on the Left Bank The Rive Gauche (, ''Left Bank'') is the southern bank of the river Seine in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, c ...
next to the
Musée d'Orsay The Musée d'Orsay ( , , ) is a museum in Paris, France, on the Rive Gauche, Left Bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts architecture, Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds m ...

Musée d'Orsay
, on the left bank of the
Seine ) , mouth_location = Le Havre Le Havre (, ; nrf, Lé Hâvre) is an urban French Communes of France, commune and city in the Seine-Maritime Departments of France, department in the Normandy (administrative region), Normandy region of nor ...

Seine
in
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
. The order is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: ' (
Knight A knight is a person granted an honorary title of knighthood by a head of state (including the pope) or representative for service to the monarch, the christian denomination, church or the country, especially in a military capacity. Knighthood ...

Knight
), ' (Officer), ' (
Commander Commander is a common naval officer rank. Commander is also used as a rank or title in other formal organizations, including several police forces. In several countries this naval rank is termed frigate captain. Commander is also a generic ter ...
), ' (Grand Officer), and ' (
Grand Cross Grand Cross is the highest class in many orders Orders is a surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that indicates their family, tribe or community. Practices vary by culture. ...

Grand Cross
).


History


Consulate

During the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consi ...

French Revolution
, all of the French
orders of chivalry An order of chivalry, order of knighthood, chivalric order, or equestrian order is an of s typically founded during or inspired by the original of the (circa 1099–1291), paired with of ideals of . Since the 15th century, orders of chivalr ...
were abolished and replaced with Weapons of Honour. It was the wish of
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
, the
First Consul The Consulate (French: ''Le Consulat'') was the top-level Government of France from the fall of the French Directory, Directory in the 18 Brumaire, coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the First French Empire, Napoleonic Empi ...
, to create a reward to commend civilians and soldiers. From this wish was instituted a , a body of men that was not an order of
chivalry Chivalry, or the chivalric code, is an informal and varying code of conduct developed between 1170 and 1220. It was associated with the medieval Christianity, Christian institution of knighthood; knights' and gentlemen's behaviours were governe ...
, for Napoleon believed that France wanted a recognition of merit rather than a new system of nobility. However, the did use the organization of the old French orders of chivalry, for example, the . The insignia of the bear a resemblance to those of the , which also used a red ribbon. Napoleon originally created this award to ensure political loyalty. The organization would be used as a façade to give political favours, gifts, and concessions. The was loosely patterned after a
Roman legion The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the , composed of 4,200 infantry and 300 (cavalry) in the period of the (509 BC–27 BC); and was composed of 5,200 infantry and 120 in the period of the (27 BC – AD 1453) ...

Roman legion
, with
legionaries A recreation of Roman legionaries wearing the '' lorica segmentata'', 1st–3rd century The Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman p ...
,
officers An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It ...
, commanders, regional "
cohort Cohort or cohortes may refer to: * Cohort (educational group), a group of students working together through the same academic curriculum * Cohort (floating point), a set of different encodings of the same numerical value * Cohort (military unit), ...
s" and a grand council. The highest rank was not a Grand Cross but a (Grand Eagle), a rank that wore the insignia common to a Grand Cross. The members were paid, the highest of them extremely generously: * 5,000
franc The franc is any of various units of currency. One franc is typically divided into 100 centimes. The name is said to derive from the Latin inscription ''francorum rex'' (Style of the French sovereign, King of the Franks) used on early France, F ...

franc
s to a , * 2,000 francs to a , * 1,000 francs to an , * 250 francs to a . Napoleon famously declared, "You call these baubles, well, it is with baubles that men are led... Do you think that you would be able to make men fight by reasoning? Never. That is good only for the scholar in his study. The soldier needs glory, distinctions, rewards." This has been often quoted as "It is with such baubles that men are led." The order was the first modern
order of merit An order of merit is an honorific order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, tr ...
. Under the monarchy, such orders were often limited to Roman Catholics, all
knights A knight is a person granted an honorary title A title is one or more words used before or after a person's name, in certain contexts. It may signify either generation, an official position, or a professional or academic qualification. In some ...

knights
had to be noblemen, and military decorations were restricted to
officers An officer is a person who has a position of authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It ...
. The , however, was open to men of all ranks and professions; only merit or bravery counted. The new legionnaire had to be sworn into the . All previous orders were Christian, or shared a clear Christian background, whereas the is a secular institution. The badge of the has five arms.


First Empire

In a decree issued on the (30 January 1805), a grand decoration was instituted. This decoration, a cross on a large
sash A sash is a large and usually colorful ribbon or band of material worn around the body, draping from one shoulder to the opposing hip, or else running around the waist. The sash around the waist may be worn in daily attire, but the sash from shou ...

sash
and a silver star with an eagle, symbol of the Napoleonic Empire, became known as the (Grand Eagle), and later in 1814 as the (big sash, literally "big ribbon"). After Napoleon crowned himself
Emperor of the French Emperor of the French (French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily loca ...
in 1804 and established the
Napoleonic nobility As Emperor of the French, Napoleon I created title of nobility, titles of nobility to institute a stable elite in the First French Empire, after the instability resulting from the French Revolution. Like many others, both before and since, Napoleo ...
in 1808, award of the gave right to the title of "Knight of the Empire" (). The title was made hereditary after three generations of grantees. Napoleon had dispensed 15 golden collars of the among his family and his senior ministers. This collar was abolished in 1815. Although research is made difficult by the loss of the archives, it is known that three women who fought with the army were decorated with the order: Virginie Ghesquière, Marie-Jeanne Schelling and a
nun A nun is a member of a religious community of women, typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience The three evangelical counsels or counsels of perfection in Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Mo ...

nun
, Sister Anne Biget. The was prominent and visible in the French Empire. The Emperor always wore it, and the fashion of the time allowed for decorations to be worn most of the time. The king of
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic countries, Nordic country in Northern Europe.The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's fo ...

Sweden
therefore declined the order; it was too common in his eyes. Napoleon's own decorations were captured by the Prussians and were displayed in the (armoury) in Berlin until 1945. Today, they are in Moscow.


Restoration of the Bourbon King of France in 1814

Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was from 1814 to 1824, except for the in 1815. He spent twenty-three years in exile: during the and the (1804–1814), and durin ...

Louis XVIII
changed the appearance of the order, but it was not abolished. To have done so would have angered the 35,000 to 38,000 members. The images of Napoleon and his eagle were removed and replaced by the image of King
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
, the popular first king of the
BourbonBourbon may refer to: Food and drink * Bourbon whiskey, an American whiskey made using a corn-based mash * Bourbon barrel aged beer, a type of beer aged in bourbon barrels * Bourbon biscuit, a chocolate sandwich biscuit * A beer produced by Brass ...

Bourbon
line. Three Bourbon replaced the eagle on the reverse of the order. A king's crown replaced the imperial crown. In 1816, the grand cordons were renamed grand crosses and the legionnaires became knights. The king decreed that the commandants were now commanders. The became the second-ranking order of knighthood of the French monarchy, after the
Order of the Holy Spirit , status = Abolished in 1830 after the July RevolutionRecognised as a dynastic order, dynastic order of chivalry by the International Commission on Orders of Chivalry, ICOC , founder = Henry III of France , head_title = Grand Master (order), G ...

Order of the Holy Spirit
.


July Monarchy

Following the overthrow of the Bourbons in favour of King
Louis Philippe I Louis Philippe (6 October 1773 – 26 August 1850) was King of the French The monarchs of the Kingdom of France The Kingdom of France ( fro, Reaume de France, frm, Royaulme de France, french: link=no, Royaume de France) was a medieval ...

Louis Philippe I
of the
House of Orléans The 4th House of Orléans (french: Maison d'Orléans), sometimes called the House of Bourbon-Orléans (french: link=no, Maison de Bourbon-Orléans) to distinguish it, is the fourth holder of a surname previously used by several branches of the Hou ...
, the Bourbon monarchy's orders were once again abolished and the was restored in 1830 as the paramount decoration of the French nation. The insignia were drastically altered; the cross now displayed
tricolour flags
tricolour flags
. In 1847, there were 47,000 members.


Second Republic

Yet another revolution in Paris (in 1848) brought a new republic (the second) and a new design to the . A nephew of the founder,
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte
, was elected president and he restored the image of his uncle on the crosses of the order. In 1852, the first recorded woman, Angélique Duchemin, an old revolutionary of the 1789 uprising against the absolute monarchy, was admitted into the order. On 2 December 1851, President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte staged a
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politica ...
with the help of the armed forces. He made himself
Emperor of the French Emperor of the French (French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily loca ...
exactly one year later on 2 December 1852, after a successful
plebiscite A referendum (plural: referendums or less commonly referenda) is a direct and universal vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal and can have nationwide or local forms. This may result in the adoption of a ...
.


Second Empire

An Imperial crown was added. During
Napoleon III Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 18089 January 1873) was the first (as Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte) from 1848 to 1852 and the from 1852 to 1870. A nephew of , he was the to rule over France. Elected to the presidency of ...

Napoleon III
's reign, the first American was admitted:
Thomas Wiltberger Evans
Thomas Wiltberger Evans
, dentist of Napoleon III.


Third Republic

In 1870, the defeat of the French Imperial Army in the
Franco-Prussian War The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire (later the Third French Republic) and the North German Confeder ...
brought the end of the Empire and the creation of the Third Republic (1871–1940). As France changed, the changed as well. The crown was replaced by a
laurel Laurel may refer to: Plants * Lauraceae, the laurel family * Laurel (plant), including a list of trees and plants known as laurel People * Laurel (given name), people with the given name * Laurel (surname), people with the surname * Laurel (musi ...

laurel
and oak wreath. In 1871, during the
Paris Commune The Paris Commune (french: Commune de Paris, ) was a revolutionary government that seized power in Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871. During the , Paris had been defended by the , where radicalism grew among soldiers. In March 1871, after th ...
uprising, the , headquarters of the , was burned to the ground in fierce street combats; the archives of the order were lost. In the second term of President
Jules Grévy François Judith Paul Grévy (; 15 August 1807 – 9 September 1891) was President of France The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state ...

Jules Grévy
, which started in 1885, newspaper journalists brought to light the trafficking of Grévy's son-in-law, Daniel Wilson, in the awarding of decorations of the . Grévy was not accused of personal participation in this scandal, but he was slow to accept his indirect political responsibility, which caused his eventual resignation on 2 December 1887. During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, some 55,000 decorations were conferred, 20,000 of which went to foreigners. The large number of decorations resulted from the new posthumous awards authorised in 1918. Traditionally, membership in the could not be awarded posthumously.


Fourth and Fifth Republics

The establishment of the Fourth Republic in 1946 brought about the latest change in the design of the Legion of Honour. The date "1870" on the obverse was replaced by a single star. No changes were made after the establishment of the Fifth Republic in 1958.


Organization


Legal status and leadership

The Legion of Honour is a national order of France, meaning a public incorporated body. The Legion is regulated by a civil law code, the "Code of the Legion of Honour and of the Military Medal". While the
President of the French Republic The president of France, officially the president of the French Republic (french: Président de la République française), is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona who officially embodies a state ( ...
is the Grand Master of the order, day-to-day running is entrusted to the Grand Chancery (').


Grand Master

Since the establishment of the Legion, the Grand Master of the order has always been the Emperor, King or President of France.
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...
Emmanuel Macron Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician who has been serving as the president of France and ''ex officio An ''ex officio'' member is a member of a body (notably a board, committee, council) wh ...
therefore became the Grand Master of the Legion on 14 May 2017. The Grand Master appoints all other members of the order, on the advice of the French government. The Grand Master's insignia is the Grand Collar of the Legion. The President of the Republic, as Grand Master of the order, receives the Collar as part of his investiture, but the Grand Masters have not worn the Collar since
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing Valéry René Marie Georges Giscard d'Estaing (, , ; 2 February 19262 December 2020), also known as Giscard or VGE, was a French politician who served as President of France The president of France, officially the president of the French R ...
.


The Grand Chancery

The Grand Chancery is headed by the Grand Chancellor, usually a retired general, and the Secretary General, a civilian administrator. * Grand Chancellor:
General A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate on Littoral Zone, littoral zone in suppo ...
Benoît Puga Benoît Puga (born 30 January 1953) is a general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained ...
(since 23 August 2016) * Secretary-General: Luc Fons (since 2007) The Grand Chancery also regulates the
National Order of Merit An order of merit is an honorific Order (distinction), order that is conferred by a sovereign state, state, government, royal family, or other sovereign entity to an individual in recognition of military or Civilian, civil :wikt:merit, merit. The ...
and the ' (Military Medal). There are several structures funded by and operated under the authority of the Grand Chancery, like the Legion of Honour Schools (') and the Legion of Honour Museum ('). The Legion of Honour Schools are élite boarding schools in
Saint-DenisSaint Denis may refer to: People * Saint Denis of Paris, 3rd-century Christian martyr and saint, patron saint of Paris * Denis the Carthusian (1402–1471) * Brent St. Denis (born 1950), Canadian politician * Frédéric St-Denis (born 1986), Canad ...
and Camp des Loges in the forest of
Saint-Germain-en-Laye Saint-Germain-en-Laye () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is wh ...

Saint-Germain-en-Laye
. Study there is restricted to daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters of members of the order, the ' or the '.


Membership

There are five classes in the Legion of Honour: * (Knight): minimum 20 years of public service or 25 years of professional activity with "eminent merits" * (Officer): minimum 8 years in the rank of * (Commander): minimum 5 years in the rank of * (Grand Officer): minimum 3 years in the rank of * (Grand Cross): minimum 3 years in the rank of The "eminent merits" required to be awarded the order require the flawless performance of one's trade as well as doing more than ordinarily expected, such as being creative, zealous and contributing to the growth and well-being of others. The order has a maximum quota of 75 Grand Cross, 250 Grand Officers, 1,250 Commanders, 10,000 Officers, and 113,425 (ordinary) Knights. the actual membership was 67 Grand Cross, 314 Grand Officers, 3,009 Commanders, 17,032 Officers and 74,384 Knights. Appointments of veterans of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
, French military personnel involved in the
North African Campaign#REDIRECT North African campaign {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
and other foreign French military operations, as well as wounded soldiers, are made independently of the quota. Members convicted of a felony ( in French) are automatically dismissed from the order. Members convicted of a misdemeanour ( in French) can be dismissed as well, although this is not automatic. Wearing the decoration of the without having the right to do so is a serious offence. Wearing the ribbon or rosette of a foreign order is prohibited if that ribbon is mainly red, like the ribbon of the Legion of Honour. French military personnel in uniform must salute other military members in uniform wearing the medal, whatever the rank and the military rank of the bearer. This is not mandatory with the ribbon. In practice, however, this is rarely done. There is not a single, complete list of all the members of the Legion in chronological order. The number is estimated at one million, including about 2,900 Knights Grand Cross.


French nationals

French nationals, men and women, can be received into the , for "eminent merit" () in military or civil life. In practice, in current usage, the order is conferred on entrepreneurs, high-level
civil servants The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leadersh ...
, scientists, artists, including famous actors and actresses, sport
champion A champion (from the late Latin ''campio'') is the Victory, victor in a challenge, Competition, contest or competition. There can be a territorial pyramid of championships, e.g. local, regional / provincial, state, national, continental and wo ...
s, and others with connections in the
executive Executive may refer to: Role, title, or function * Executive (government), branch of government that has authority and responsibility for the administration of state bureaucracy * Executive, a senior management role in an organization ** Chief exec ...
. Members of the
French Parliament The French Parliament (french: Parlement français) is the bicameral Bicameralism is a type of legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, ...
cannot receive the order, except for valour in war, and ministers are not allowed to nominate their accountants. Until 2008, French nationals could only enter the Legion of Honour at the class of (Knight). To be promoted to a higher class, one had to perform new eminent services in the interest of France and a set number of years had to pass between appointment and promotion. This was however amended in 2008 when entry became possible at Officer, Commander and Grand Officer levels, as a recognition of "extraordinary careers" (). In 2009,
Simone Veil Simone Veil (; ; 13 July 1927 – 30 June 2017) was a French magistrate and politician who served as Minister of Health (France), Health Minister in several governments and was President of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1982, the first ...
became the first person to enter the Order at Grand Officer level. Veil was a member of the , a former
Health MinisterA health minister is the member of a country's government typically responsible for protecting and promoting public health and providing welfare and other social security services. Some governments have separate Minister of Mental Health, Ministers ...
and
President of the European Parliament The President of the European Parliament presides over the debates and activities of the European Parliament The European Parliament (EP) is one of three Legislature, legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven Institut ...
, as well as an
Auschwitz The Auschwitz concentration camp () was a complex of over 40 concentration In chemistry, concentration is the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture. Several types of mathematical description can be distinguishe ...

Auschwitz
survivor. She was promoted to Grand Cross in 2012. Every year at least five recipients decline the award. Even if they refuse to accept it, they are still included in the order's official membership. The composers
Maurice Ravel Joseph Maurice Ravel (7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with Impressionism in music, Impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers ...

Maurice Ravel
and
Charles Koechlin Charles-Louis-Eugène Koechlin (; 27 November 186731 December 1950), commonly known as Charles Koechlin, was a French composer, teacher and writer on music. He was a political radical all his life and a passionate enthusiast for such diverse things ...
, for example, declined the award when it was offered to them.


Non-French recipients

While membership in the is technically restricted to French nationals, foreign nationals who have served France or the ideals it upholds may receive the honour. Foreign nationals who live in France are subject to the same requirements as the French. Foreign nationals who live abroad may be awarded a distinction of any rank or dignity in the . Foreign heads of state and their spouses or consorts of monarchs are made Grand Cross as a courtesy. American and British veterans who served in either
World War A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newsp ...
on French soil, or during the 1944 campaigns to liberate France, may be eligible for appointment as Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, provided they were still living when the honour was approved.


Collective awards

Collective appointments can be made to cities, institutions or companies. A total of 64 settlements in France have been decorated, as well as six foreign cities:
Liège Liège ( , , ; wa, Lidje ; nl, Luik ; german: Lüttich ; lat, Leodium) is a major City status in Belgium, city and Municipalities in Belgium, municipality of Wallonia and the capital of the Belgium, Belgian Liège Province, province of Liège. ...

Liège
in 1914,
Belgrade Belgrade ( ; sr-cyr, Београд, Beograd, lit='White City', ; Names of European cities in different languages: B, names in other languages) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Serbia, largest city of Serbia. It is located ...

Belgrade
in 1920,
Luxembourg City Luxembourg ( lb, Lëtzebuerg; french: Luxembourg; german: Luxemburg), also known as Luxembourg City ( lb, Stad Lëtzebuerg, link=no or ; french: Ville de Luxembourg, link=no; german: Stadt Luxemburg, link=no or ), is the capital city A c ...

Luxembourg City
in 1957,
Volgograd Volgograd (russian: Волгогра́д, a=ru-Volgograd.ogg, p=vəɫɡɐˈɡrat), formerly Tsaritsyn (Цари́цын) (1589–1925), and Stalingrad (Сталингра́д) (1925–1961), is the largest city and the administrative centreAn ad ...

Volgograd
(the World War II 'Stalingrad') in 1984,
Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; : ''Dzayer;'' '': Alger'') is the and largest city of . The city's population at the 2008 Census was 2,988,145Census 14 April 2008: Office National des Statistiques de l'Algérie (web). and in 2011 was estimat ...

Algiers
in 2004, and
London London is the and of and the . It stands on the in south-east England at the head of a down to the , and has been a major settlement for two millennia. The , its ancient core and financial centre, was founded by the as ' and retains b ...

London
in 2020. French towns display the decoration in their municipal coat of arms. Organisations to receive the honour include the
French Red Cross Medal of the SSBM (1916) The French Red Cross (french: Croix-Rouge française), or the CRF, is the national Red Cross Society in France founded in 1864 and originally known as the ''Société française de secours aux blessés militaires'' (SSBM). ...
(), the ( Abbey of ), the French National Railway Company (), the (
Prefecture of Police of Paris The Paris Police Prefecture (french: Préfecture de police de Paris) is the unit of the French Ministry of the Interior that provides police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons ...
), and various (National (Elite) Colleges) and other educational establishments.


Military awards

The military distinctions () are awarded for bravery () or for service. * award for extreme bravery: the is awarded jointly with a
mention in dispatches To be mentioned in dispatches (or despatches, MiD) describes a member of the armed forces whose name appears in an official report written by a superior officer and sent to the high command, in which their gallant or meritorious action in the face ...
. This is the top valour award in France. It is rarely awarded, mainly to soldiers who have died in battle. * award for service: the is awarded without any citation.


=French service-members

= For active-duty commissioned officers, the Legion of Honour award for service is achieved after 20 years of meritorious service, having been awarded the rank of of the . Bravery awards lessen the time needed for the award—in fact decorated servicemen become directly chevaliers of the , skipping the . NCOs almost never achieve that award, except for the most heavily decorated service members.


=Collective military awards

= Collective appointments can be made to military units. In the case of a military unit, its flag is decorated with the insignia of a knight, which is a different award from the . Twenty-one schools, mainly schools providing reserve officers during the World Wars, were awarded the Légion d'Honneur. Foreign military units can be decorated with the order, such as the U.S. Military Academy. The Flag or Standard of the following units was decorated with the Cross of a Knight of the Legion of Honour: * 1st Foreign Regiment *
1st Marine Artillery Regiment The 1st Marine Artillery Regiment (french: 1er Régiment d'Artillerie de Marine, 1er RAMa) is one of the oldest marine artillery units in the military of France, as part of the troupes de marine within the French Army . History With two infant ...
*
1st Marine Infantry Regiment The 1st Marine Infantry Regiment (french: 1er Régiment d'Infanterie de Marine, 1er RIMa) is a French regiment heir of the Troupes de Marine, colonial infantry. The regiment is one of the « quatre vieux » regiments of the Troupes de Marine, wi ...
*
1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment The 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (french: 1er Régiment de Parachutistes d'Infanterie de Marine, 1er R.P.I.Ma) is one of three regiments (1er R.P.I.Ma, 13e Régiment de Dragons Parachutistes (13e R.D.P), 4e R.H.F.S) in the French Army ...
* (United States Army Air Forces, USAAF Forward-deployed Reconnaissance Unit) * 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment, 1st Parachute Regiment * 1st Regiment of African * 1st Regiment of Algerian * 1st Regiment of Riflemen * 1st Regiment of Senegalese * 1st Train Regiment * 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment * 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment * 2nd Regiment of Algerian * 2nd Regiment of * 3rd Algerian Infantry Regiment * 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment * 3rd Regiment of * 4th Tunisian Tirailleurs Regiment * 4th Regiment of * Joint 4th Regiment of and * 7th Algerian Infantry Regiment * 8th Infantry Regiment * 8th Zouaves Regiment * 9th Regiment of * 11th Marine Artillery Regiment * 23rd Infantry Regiment * 23rd Marine Infantry Regiment * 24th Marine Infantry Regiment * 26th Infantry Regiment * 30th Battalion of * 43rd Marine Infantry Regiment * 51st Infantry Regiment * 57th Infantry Regiment * 112th Line Infantry Regiment (French infantry regiment consisting of mostly Belgians, known as "The Victors of Battle of Raab, Raab") * 137th Infantry Regiment * 152nd Infantry Regiment * 153rd Infantry Regiment * 298th Infantry Regiment * Fighter Squadron 1/30 Normandie-Niemen * (Naval Infantry) * Moroccan Goumier, Moroccan * Paris Fire Brigade * (Colonial Infantry Regiment of Morocco). Book of the regiment will be fighting its most decorated emblem of the French army.


Classes and insignia

The order has had five levels since the reign of King Louis XVIII, who restored the order in 1815. Since the reform, the following distinctions have existed: * Three ranks: ** ' (Knight): badge worn on left breast suspended from ribbon ** ' (Officer): badge worn on left breast suspended from a ribbon with a rosette ** ' (Commander): badge around neck suspended from ribbon necklet * Two dignities: ** ' (Grand Officer): badge worn on left breast suspended from a ribbon, with star displayed on right breast ** ' (Grand Cross), formerly ', ', or ': the highest level; badge affixed to sash worn over the right shoulder, with star displayed on left breast The ''badge'' of the is shaped as a five-armed "Maltese Asterisk", using five distinctive "arrowhead" shaped arms inspired by the Maltese Cross (symbol), Maltese Cross. The badge is rendered in gilding, gilt (in silver for chevalier) enameled white, with an enameled
laurel Laurel may refer to: Plants * Lauraceae, the laurel family * Laurel (plant), including a list of trees and plants known as laurel People * Laurel (given name), people with the given name * Laurel (surname), people with the surname * Laurel (musi ...

laurel
and oak wreath between the arms. The obverse central disc is in gilt, featuring the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend ' on a blue enamel ring. The reverse central disc is also in gilt, with a set of crossed ', surrounded by the Légion's motto ' (Honour and Fatherland) and its foundation date on a blue enamel ring. The badge is suspended by an enameled laurel and oak wreath. The ''star'' (or ') is worn by the Grand Cross (in gilt on the left chest) and the Grand Officer (in silver on the right chest) respectively; it is similar to the badge, but without enamel, and with the wreath replaced by a cluster of rays in between each arm. The central disc features the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend ' (French Republic) and the motto '. The ''ribbon'' for the medal is plain red. The badge or star is not usually worn, except at the time of the decoration ceremony or on a dress uniform or formal wear. Instead, one normally wears the ribbon or rosette on their suit. For less formal occasions, recipients wear a simple stripe of thread sewn onto the lapel (red for chevaliers and officiers, silver for commandeurs). Except when wearing a dark suit with a lapel, women instead typically wear a small lapel pin called a barrette. Recipients purchase the special thread and barrettes at a store in Paris near the Palais Royal.


Gallery

File:Chevalier-legion-dhonneur-empire-1804.jpg, Original ' insignia (1804) File:Chevalier-legion-dhonneur-empire.jpg, Late Empire ' insignia: the front features Napoleon's profile and the rear, the imperial Eagle. An imperial crown joins the cross and the ribbon. File:Chevalier-legion-dhonneur-LouisXVIII-1814.jpg,
Louis XVIII Louis XVIII (Louis Stanislas Xavier; 17 November 1755 – 16 September 1824), known as the Desired (), was from 1814 to 1824, except for the in 1815. He spent twenty-three years in exile: during the and the (1804–1814), and durin ...

Louis XVIII
era (1814) Knight insignia: the front features
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
's profile and the rear, the arms of the French Kingdom (three '). A royal crown joins the cross and the ribbon. File:Chevalier-legion-dhonneur-2e-republique.jpg, Rear of a Republican cross, with two crossed French flags File:Chevalier-legion-dhonneur-republique.jpg, Fifth Republic Knight insignia: the centre features Marianne's head. A crown of laurels joins the cross and the ribbon. File:Offizierskreuz.jpg, Current medal for the officer class, decorated with a rosette File:Legion Honneur CKS plaque p1090335.jpg, Chiang Kai-shek's ' plaque. In his day, the plaque was made of silver. File:Legion Honneur CKS p1090334.jpg, Chiang Kai-shek's '. This is the reverse of his Grand Cross. File:Legion_d_honneur_1.jpg, The insignia of a Grand Cross. Nowadays the star of a Grand Cross is gilt. The silver star is the Grand Officer's badge. File:Legion of Honor - Knight.JPG, Charles Lindbergh's Legion of Honour File:Legion dHonneur mg 3440.jpg, Insignia with figure of Henry IV File:Legion dHonneur mg 3456.jpg, Certificate File:Certificate - ORDRE NATIONAL DE LA LEGION D'HONNEUR.jpg, Certificate for Major G M Reeves, a British recipient in 1958 File:Commandeur de l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur avers.jpg, Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honour


See also

* List of Légion d'honneur recipients by name, List of recipients by name * List of British recipients of the Légion d'Honneur for the Crimean War, List of British recipients of the for the Crimean War * List of foreign recipients of the Légion d'Honneur, List of foreign recipients of the * ' * Ribbons of the French military and civil awards


References and notes

; Notes ; Citations


External links


Official website

''Code de la légion d'honneur et de la médaille militaire''
legifrance.gouv.fr

on the website of the French Ministry of Culture * {{DEFAULTSORT:Legion of Honour Legion of Honour, 1802 establishments in France Awards established in 1802 Civil awards and decorations of France French awards Military awards and decorations of France Orders of chivalry of France