HOME
The Info List - Legion Of Honour


--- Advertisement ---



The Legion of Honour, full name, National Order of the Legion of Honour (French: Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur),[2] is the highest French order of merit for military and civil merits, established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte and retained by all the divergent governments and regimes later holding power in France, up to the present. The order's motto is "Honneur et Patrie" ("Honour and Fatherland"), and its seat is the Palais de la Légion d'Honneur
Palais de la Légion d'Honneur
next to the Musée d'Orsay, on the left bank of the River Seine
River Seine
in Paris.[3] The order is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer), and Grand-Croix (Grand Cross).

Contents

1 History

1.1 Consulat 1.2 First Empire 1.3 Restoration of the Kings of Bourbon in 1814 1.4 July Monarchy 1.5 Second Republic 1.6 Second Empire 1.7 Third Republic 1.8 Fourth Republic

2 Organization

2.1 Legal status and leadership

2.1.1 Grand Master 2.1.2 The Grand Chancery

2.2 Membership

2.2.1 French nationals 2.2.2 Non-French recipients 2.2.3 Collective awards 2.2.4 Military
Military
awards

2.2.4.1 French service-members 2.2.4.2 Collective military awards

3 Classes and insignia 4 Gallery 5 See also 6 References and notes 7 External links

History[edit] Consulat[edit] In the French Revolution, all of the French orders of chivalry were abolished, and replaced with Weapons of Honour. It was the wish of Napoleon
Napoleon
Bonaparte, the First Consul, to create a reward to commend civilians and soldiers and from this wish was instituted a Légion d'Honneur,[4] a body of men that was not an order of chivalry, for Napoleon
Napoleon
believed France
France
wanted a recognition of merit rather than a new system of nobility. The Légion however did use the organization of old French orders of chivalry for example the Ordre de Saint-Louis. The badges of the legion also bear a resemblance to the Ordre de Saint-Louis, which also used a red ribbon. Napoleon
Napoleon
originally created this to ensure political loyalty. The organization would be used as a façade to give political favours, gifts, and concessions.[5] The Légion was loosely patterned after a Roman legion, with legionaries, officers, commanders, regional "cohorts" and a grand council. The highest rank was not a grand cross but a Grand Aigle (grand eagle), a rank that wore all the insignia common to grand crosses. The members were paid, the highest of them extremely generously:

5,000 francs to a grand officier, 2,000 francs to a commandeur, 1,000 francs to an officier, 250 francs to a légionnaire.

Napoleon
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."[6] This has been often quoted as "It is with such baubles that men are led." The order was the first modern order of merit. Under the monarchy, such orders were often limited to Roman Catholics, and all knights had to be noblemen. The military decorations were the perks of the officers. The Légion, however, was open to men of all ranks and professions—only merit or bravery counted. The new legionnaire had to be sworn in the Légion. It is noteworthy that all previous orders were crosses or shared a clear Christian background, whereas the Légion is a secular institution. The badge of the Légion has five arms. First Empire[edit] In a decree issued on the 10 Pluviôse
Pluviôse
XIII (30 January 1805), a grand decoration was instituted. This decoration, a cross on a large sash and a silver star with an eagle, symbol of the Napoleonic Empire, became known as the Grand Aigle ("Grand Eagle"), and later in 1814 as the Grand Cordon (big sash, literally big ribbon). After Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of the French
Emperor of the French
in 1804 and established the Napoleonic nobility in 1808, award of the Légion gave right to the title of " Knight
Knight
of the Empire" (Chevalier de l'Empire). The title was made hereditary after three generations of grantees. Napoleon
Napoleon
had dispensed 15 golden collars of the legion 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, Sister Anne Biget.[7] The Légion d'honneur 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
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 Zeughaus (armoury) in Berlin until 1945. Today, they are in Moscow.

The Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
under the Empire

A depiction of Napoleon
Napoleon
making some of the first awards of the Legion of Honour, at a camp near Boulogne on 16 August 1804. 

As Emperor, Napoleon
Napoleon
always wore the Cross and Grand Eagle of the Legion of Honour. 

Embroided insignia of the Legion of Honour, detail of Napoleon's uniform of colonel of the Chasseurs à cheval of the Imperial Guard. 

First Légion d'Honneur investiture, 15 July 1804, at Saint-Louis des Invalides by Jean-Baptiste Debret
Jean-Baptiste Debret
(1812). 

Restoration of the Kings of Bourbon in 1814[edit] 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
Napoleon
and his eagle were removed and replaced by the image of King Henry IV, the popular first king of the Bourbon line. Three Bourbon fleurs-de-lys 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 Légion became the second order of knighthood of the French monarchy, after the Order of the Holy Spirit. July Monarchy[edit]

Louis Philippe I, King of the French, wearing the sash of the order

Following the overthrow of the Bourbons in favour of King Louis-Philippe
Louis-Philippe
of the House of Orleans, the Bourbon monarchy's orders were once again abolished and the order of the Légion d'honneur in 1830 was restored as the paramount decoration of the French nation. The insignia were drastically altered. The cross now displayed tricolour flags. In 1847, there were 47,000 members. Second Republic[edit] Yet another revolution in Paris
Paris
(1848) brought a new republic (the second) and a new design to the Légion d'honneur. A nephew of the founder, Prince 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 with the help of the armed forces. He made himself Emperor of the French
Emperor of the French
exactly one year later on 2 December 1852, after a successful plebiscite. Second Empire[edit] An Imperial crown was added. During Napoleon
Napoleon
III's reign, the first American was admitted: Dr. Thomas Wiltberger Evans, dentist of Napoleon
Napoleon
III. Third Republic[edit] In 1870 the defeat of the French Imperial Army in the Franco-Prussian War brought the end of the Empire and the creation of the Third Republic (1871–1940). As France
France
changed, the Légion d'honneur changed as well. The crown was replaced by a laurel and oak wreath. In 1871, during the Paris
Paris
Commune uprising, the Hôtel de Salm, headquarters of the Légion d'Honneur, was burned to the ground in fierce street combats; the archives of the order were lost. In the second term of President Jules Grévy
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 Légion d'Honneur. 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, 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 Légion d'Honneur could not be awarded posthumously. Fourth Republic[edit] 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. Organization[edit] Legal status and leadership[edit] The Legion of Honour
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
Legion of Honour
and of the Military
Military
Medal. While the President of the French Republic
President of the French Republic
is the Grand Master of the Order, day-to-day running is entrusted to the Grand Chancery (Grande Chancellerie de la Légion d'Honneur). Grand Master[edit] Since the establishment of the Legion, the Grand Master of the order has always been the Emperor, King or President of France. President Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron
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 Government. The Grand Master's insignia is the Grand Collar of the Legion, worn only by the President of the Republic, as Grand Master of the Order. The Grand Chancery[edit] The Grand Chancery is headed by the Grand Chancellor, usually a retired general, and the Secretary General, a civilian administrator.

Grand Chancellor: General Benoît Puga
Benoît Puga
since 23 August 2016 Secretary-General: Luc Fons since 2007

The Grand Chancery also regulates the National Order of Merit and the médaille militaire ( Military
Military
Medal). There are several structures funded by and operated under the authority of the Grand Chancery, like the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
Schools (Maisons d'éducation de la Légion d'Honneur) and the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
Museum (Musée de la Légion d'Honneur). The Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
Schools are élite boarding schools in Saint-Denis and Les Loges in the forest of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Study there is restricted to daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters of members of the order, the médaille militaire or the ordre national du Mérite.[8] Membership[edit] There are five classes in the Legion of Honour:

Chevalier (Chev. L.H.) (Knight): minimum 20 years of public service or 25 years of professional activity with "eminent merits" Officier (O.L.H.) (Officer): minimum 8 years in the rank of Chevalier Commandeur (Cdr L.H.) (Commander): minimum 5 years in the rank of Officier Grand Officier (G.O.L.H.) (Grand Officer): minimum 3 years in the rank of Commandeur Grand Croix (G.C.L.H.) (Grand Cross): minimum 3 years in the rank of Grand Officier

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. As of 2010, 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, French military personnel involved in the North African Campaign
North African Campaign
and other foreign French military operations, as well as wounded soldiers, are made independently of the quota. Members convicted of a felony (crime in French) are automatically dismissed from the order. Members convicted of a misdemeanour (délit in French) can be dismissed as well, although this is not automatic. Wearing the decoration of the Légion d'honneur 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 Légion d'honneur 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 Grand Cross.[9] French nationals[edit] French nationals, men and women, can be received into the Légion, for "eminent merit" (mérites éminents) in military or civil life. In practice, in current usage, the order is conferred to entrepreneurs, high-level civil servants, scientists, artists including famous actors and actresses, sport champions[10] as well as others with connections in the executive. Members of the French Parliament
French Parliament
cannot receive the order, except for valour in war,[11] and ministers are not allowed to nominate their accountants. Until 2008, French nationals could only enter the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
at the class of Chevalier (Knight). To be promoted to a higher class, one had to perform new eminent services in the interest of France
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" (carrières hors du commun). In 2009, Simone Veil became the first person to enter the Order at Grand Officer level.[12] Veil was a member of the Académie française, a former Health Minister and President of the European Parliament, as well as an Auschwitz
Auschwitz
survivor. She was promoted to Grand Cross
Grand Cross
in 2012. The acceptance of being awarded the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
is not mandatory. The composers Maurice Ravel[13] and Charles Koechlin, for example, declined the award when it was offered to them.[citation needed] Non-French recipients[edit] Main article: List of foreign recipients of the Légion d'Honneur While membership in the Légion is technically restricted to French nationals,[14] foreign nationals who have served France
France
or the ideals it upholds[15] may receive the honour.[16] Foreign nationals who live in France
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 Légion. Foreign heads of state and their spouses or consorts of monarchs are made Grand Cross
Grand Cross
as a courtesy. American and British veterans who served in either World War I
World War I
on French soil,[17] or during the 1944 campaigns to liberate France,[18][19] may be eligible for appointment as Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, provided they were still living when the honour was approved. Collective awards[edit] Collective appointments can be made to cities, institutions or companies. A total of 64 settlements in France
France
have been decorated, as well as five foreign cities: Liège in 1914, Belgrade
Belgrade
in 1920, Luxembourg City in 1957, Volgograd
Volgograd
in 1984, and Algiers
Algiers
in 2004. French towns display the decoration in their municipal coat of arms. Organisations to receive the honour include the French Red Cross (Croix-Rouge Française), the Abbaye de Nôtre-Dame des Dombes (Abbey of Notre-Dame des Dombes), the French National Railway Company (SNCF, Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français), the Préfecture de Police de la Ville de Paris
Paris
(Prefecture of Police of Paris), and various Grandes Écoles (National (Elite) Colleges) and other educational establishments. Military
Military
awards[edit]

Notice of posthumous award of the Croix de Chevalier to lieutenant Tessier—Mort pour la France
France
("Died for France") in World War I

The military distinctions (Légion d'honneur à titre militaire) are awarded for bravery (actions de guerre) or for service.

award for extreme bravery: the Légion d'Honneur is awarded jointly with a mention in dispatches. This is the top valour award in France. It is rarely awarded, mainly to soldiers who have died in battle. award for service: the Légion is awarded without any citation.

French service-members[edit] For active-duty commissioned officers, the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
award for service is achieved after 20 years of meritorious service, having been awarded the rank of Chevalier of the Ordre National du Mérite. Bravery awards lessen the time needed for the award—in fact decorated servicemen become directly chevaliers of the Légion d'Honneur, skipping the Ordre du Mérite. NCOs almost never achieve that award, except for the most heavily decorated service members. Collective military awards[edit] 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 than the fourragère. 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
Military
Academy. The Flag or Standard of the following units was decorated with the Cross of a Knight
Knight
of the Legion of Honour:[20]

1st Foreign Regiment 1st Marine Artillery Regiment 1st Marine Infantry Regiment 1st Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment 1st Parachute Chasseur
Chasseur
Regiment 1st Regiment of African Chasseurs 1st Regiment of Algerian Tirailleurs 1st Regiment of Riflemen 1st Regiment of Senegalese Tirailleurs 1st Train Regiment 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment 2nd Marine Infantry Regiment 2nd Regiment of Algerian Tirailleurs 2nd Regiment of Zouaves 3rd Algerian Infantry Regiment 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment
3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment
(Regiment walk from the Foreign Legion) 3rd Regiment of Zouaves 4th Regiment of Tunisian Tirailleurs 4th Regiment of Zouaves Joint 4th Regiment of Zouaves and Tirailleurs 7th Algerian Infantry Regiment 8th Infantry Regiment 8th Regiment of Zouaves 9th Regiment of Zouaves 11th Marine Artillery Regiment 23rd Infantry Regiment 23rd Marine Infantry Regiment 24th Marine Infantry Regiment 26th Infantry Regiment 30th Battalion of Chasseurs 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 Raab") 137th Infantry Regiment 152nd Infantry Regiment 153rd Infantry Regiment 298th Infantry Regiment 324th Intelligence Squadron (USAF Forward Deployed Intelligence Operations Unit) Fighter Squadron 1/30 Normandie-Niemen Fusiliers Marins
Fusiliers Marins
(Naval Infantry) Moroccan Goumier Paris
Paris
Fire Brigade Régiment d'infanterie-chars de marine
Régiment d'infanterie-chars de marine
(Colonial Infantry Regiment of Morocco). Book of the regiment will be fighting its most decorated emblem of the French army.

Classes and insignia[edit]

The five classes wearing their respective insignia (gentlemen): 1: Chevalier; 2: Officier; 3: Commandeur; 4: Grand Officier; 5: Grand'Croix.

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:

Chevalier (knight): badge worn on left breast suspended from ribbon. Officier (Officer): badge worn on left breast suspended from a ribbon with a rosette. Commandeur (Commander): badge around neck suspended from ribbon necklet.

Two dignities:

Grand Officier (Grand Officer): badge worn on left breast suspended from a ribbon, with star displayed on right breast. Grand-Croix (Grand Cross) formerly grande décoration, grand aigle or grand cordon: the highest level; badge affixed to sash worn over the right shoulder, with star displayed on left breast.

The badge of the Légion is a five-armed "Maltese Asterisk" (for want of a better description—see Maltese Cross) in gilt (in silver for chevalier) enamelled white, with an enamelled laurel and oak wreath between the arms. The obverse central disc is in gilt, featuring the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend République Française on a blue enamel ring. The reverse central disc is also in gilt, with a set of crossed tricolores, surrounded by the Légion's motto Honneur et Patrie (Honour and Fatherland) and its foundation date on a blue enamel ring. The badge is suspended by an enamelled laurel and oak wreath. The star (or plaque) is worn by the Grand Cross
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 République Française (French Republic) and the motto Honneur et Patrie.[21] 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 one's suit. Gallery[edit]

Original Légionnaire insignia (1804).

Late Empire Légionnaire insignia: the front features Napoleon's profile and the rear, the imperial Eagle. An imperial crown joins the cross and the ribbon.

Louis XVIII era (1814) Knight
Knight
insignia: the front features Henry IV's profile and the rear, the arms of the French Kingdom (three fleurs-de-lis). A royal crown joins the cross and the ribbon.

Rear of a Republican cross, with two crossed French flags.

Fifth Republic Knight
Knight
insignia: the centre features Marianne's head. A crown of laurels joins the cross and the ribbon.

Current medal for the officer class, decorated with a rosette.

Chiang Kai-shek's Légion d'honneur plaque. In his day, the plaque was made of silver.

Chiang Kai-shek's Légion d'honneur. This is the reverse of his Grand Cross.

The insignia of a Grand Cross. Nowadays the star of a Grand Cross
Grand Cross
is gilt. The silver star is the Grand Officer's badge.

Charles Lindbergh's Legion of Honour

Insignia with figure of Henry IV

Certificate

Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honour

See also[edit]

List of Légion d'honneur recipients by name List of British recipients of the Légion d'Honneur for the Crimean War List of foreign recipients of the Légion d'Honneur Musée national de la Légion d'honneur et des ordres de chevalerie Ribbons of the French military and civil awards

France
France
portal War portal Military
Military
history of France
France
portal

References and notes[edit]

^ le petit Larousse 2013 p1567 ^ Formerly the Royal Order of the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
(Ordre royal de la Légion d'honneur) ^ The award for the French Legion of Hono(u)r is known by many titles, also depending on the five levels of degree: Knight
Knight
of the Legion of Honour; Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur; Officer of the Legion of Honour; Officier de la Légion d'honneur; Commander of the Legion of Honour; Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur; Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour; Grand Officier de la Légion d'honneur; Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour; Grand'Croix de la Légion d'honneur. The word honneur is often capitalised, as in the name of the palace Palais de la Légion d'Honneur. ^ Pierre-Louis Roederer, "Speech Proposing the Creation of a Legion of Honour", Napoleon: Symbol for an Age, A Brief History with Documents, ed. Rafe Blaufarb (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008), 101–102. ^ Jones, Colin. The Cambridge Illustrated History of France
France
(1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 196. ISBN 0-521-43294-4.  ^ Antoine Claire Thibaudeau (1827). Mémoires sur le Consulat. 1799 à 1804 [Memories of the Consulate, 1799–1804] (in French). Paris: Chez Ponthieu et Cie. pp. 83–84.  ^ The first recorded women's award is 1851, under Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. ^ "Modalités d'admission". Maison d’éducation de la Légion d’honneur. Archived from the original on 25 December 2013.  ^ Wattel, Michel; Wattel, Béatrice (2009). Les Grand'Croix de la Légion d'honneur. De 1805 à nos jours, titulaires français et étrangers. Archives et Culture.  ^ All Olympic Gold Medal
Medal
winners are awarded the Légion. ^ Légion Code, article R22 ^ " Simone Veil
Simone Veil
grand officier de la légion d'honneur". Le Nouvel Observateur (in French). Paris. 31 December 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2015.  ^ 1927-, Watkins, Glenn, (2003-01-01). Proof through the night music and the great war. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520927896. OCLC 937278246.  ^ Légion Code, article 16 ^ "Les étrangers qui se seront signalés par les services qu’ils ont rendus à la France
France
ou aux causes qu’elle soutient", Légion Code, article 128 ^ "5 Things to Know about the Legion of Honor". US News and World Report. Retrieved 24 August 2015.  ^ "The London Gazette: 15 October 1998. Issue: 55282. Notice ID:L-55282-24SI".  ^ "MOD press release: 25 July 2014. Legion d'Honneur awarded to surviving veterans of 1944 French campaigns".  ^ The Legion d’Honneur for US veterans ^ Officially military units are not members of the Legion of Honour, which include only individuals. As for foreign Legionnaires, they are "decorated with the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
insignia", not "member of the Legion of Honour". Do not confuse military units that received the fourragère to the colour of the ribbon of the Legion of Honour
Legion of Honour
(units quoted at six, seven or eight times in the order of the army with military units whose flag is decorated with the Cross of the Legion of Honour ^ "The Legion of Honor in 10 questions". The Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honor. Retrieved 18 September 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to National Order of the Legion of Honour.

Legiondhonneur.fr Code de la légion d'honneur et de la médaille militaire, legifrance.gouv.fr Base Léonore, recensement des récipiendaires de la Légion d’honneur (décédés avant 1977), on the website of the French Ministry of Culture (in French)  "Legion of Honor". New International Encyclopedia. 1905. 

v t e

Orders, decorations and medals of France

Orders

National

Legion of Honour Order of Liberation National Order of Merit National Recognition Medal
Medal
for Victims of Terrorism

Ministerial

Ordre des Palmes Académiques Order of Agricultural Merit Ordre du Mérite Maritime Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Civilian decorations

Honour medal for courage and devotion Médaille d'honneur de l'Aéronautique Honour medal of Foreign Affairs Médaille d'honneur agricole Honour medal of railroads Regional, departmental and municipal honour medal Honour medal of customs Médaille d'honneur des Eaux et Forêts Médaille d'honneur de l'Enseignement du 1er degré Médaille d'honneur pénitentiaire Honour medal for civilian personnel of the Defense Ministry Honour medal of the National Police Honour medal for firefighters Medal
Medal
for internal security Médaille d'honneur de Sociétés musicales et Chorales Médaille d'honneur de la protection judiciaire de la jeunesse Honour medal for work Médaille d'honneur des Travaux publics Insignia for wounded civilians Médaille de la Famille française Honour medal for youth, sports and associative engagements Médaille des Mines Médaille du Tourisme Ordre de Tahiti Nui

Military decorations

Military
Military
Medal 1914–1918 War Cross 1939–1945 War Cross War Cross for foreign operational theaters Cross for Military
Military
Valour Médaille de la Gendarmerie nationale Resistance Medal Escapees' Medal Volunteer combatant's cross
Volunteer combatant's cross
1914–1918 Volunteer combatant's cross Cross of the resistance volunteer combatant Combatant's Cross Aeronautical Medal Overseas Medal National Defence Medal Medal
Medal
for voluntary military service Medal
Medal
of the Nation's Recognition Medal
Medal
for the War Wounded See also: Military
Military
Health Service honour medal

Com- memorative medals

19th century

Saint Helena Medal Commemorative medal of the 1859 Italian Campaign Commemorative medal of the 1860 China Expedition Commemorative medal of the Mexico Expedition Commemorative medal of the 1870–1871 War Tonkin Expedition commemorative medal Dahomey Expedition commemorative medal 1892 Madagascar commemorative medal Colonial Medal

1900–1914

1901 China expedition commemorative medal Morocco commemorative medal (1909)

1914–1918: World War I

1914–1918 Inter-Allied Victory medal Dardanelles campaign medal Orient campaign medal 1914–1918 Commemorative war medal Medal
Medal
of French Gratitude Medal
Medal
for Victims of the Invasion Medal
Medal
for civilian prisoners, hostages and prisoners of the 1914-1918 Great War

1918–1939 (Interwar period)

Syria-Cilicia commemorative medal

1939–1945: World War II

Commemorative medal for voluntary service in Free France 1943-1944 Italian Campaign medal Medal
Medal
for deportation and internment for acts of resistance Political deportation and internment medal Médaille commémorative de la guerre 1939–1945 Medal
Medal
of a liberated France Recusant's insignia

Since 1945

Commemorative medal for United Nations operations in Korea Indochina Campaign commemorative medal Middle East operations commemorative medal (1956) North Africa Security and Order Operations Commemorative Medal North Africa medal United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon medal French commemorative medal Medal
Medal
for the Military
Military
Protection of the Territory

Defunct orders

Ministry orders

Ordre du Mérite combattant Ordre du Mérite militaire Ordre du Mérite civil Ordre du Mérite social Ordre du Mérite du Travail Ordre du Mérite touristique Ordre de l'Économie nationale Ordre du Mérite commercial et industriel Ordre du Mérite artisanal Ordre de la Santé publique Ordre du Mérite postal Ordre du Mérite sportif

Colonial orders

Ordre du Mérite indochinois Ordre du Mérite saharien Ordre de l'Étoile Noire Ordre de l'Étoile d'Anjouan Ordre du Nichan el Anouar Ordre impérial du Dragon d'Annam Ordre royal du Cambodge

France
France
portal

Highest military awards for gallantry

List of highest military decorations

Current

Argentine Nation to the Heroic Valour in Combat Cross (Argentina) National Hero of Armenia
National Hero of Armenia
(Armenia) National Hero of Azerbaijan
National Hero of Azerbaijan
title (Azerbaijan) Bir Sreshtho
Bir Sreshtho
(Bangladesh) Hero of Belarus
Hero of Belarus
title (Belarus) Order of Bravery
Order of Bravery
(Bulgaria) Order of Heroic Exemplar
Order of Heroic Exemplar
(China) Valour Cross
Valour Cross
(Denmark) Cross of Liberty (Estonia) Mannerheim Cross
Mannerheim Cross
(Finland) Légion d'honneur (France) Cross of Honour for Valour (Germany) Cross of Valour (Greece) Param Vir Chakra
Param Vir Chakra
(India) Military
Military
Medal
Medal
for Gallantry (Ireland) Medal
Medal
of Valor (Israel) Gold Medal
Medal
of Military
Military
Valour (Italy) Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa
Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa
(Malaysia) Military
Military
William Order (Netherlands) War Cross (Norway) Nishan-e-Haider
Nishan-e-Haider
(Pakistan) Medal
Medal
of Valor (Philippines) War Order Virtuti Militari
Virtuti Militari
(wartime) / Order Krzyża Wojskowego peacetime (Poland) Order of the Tower and Sword
Order of the Tower and Sword
(Portugal) Order of Michael the Brave
Order of Michael the Brave
(Romania) Hero of the Russian Federation
Hero of the Russian Federation
title (Russian Federation) Nkwe ya Gauta
Nkwe ya Gauta
(South Africa) Laureate Cross of St. Ferdinand (Spain) Parama Weera Vibhushanaya
Parama Weera Vibhushanaya
(Sri Lanka) Knight
Knight
Grand Cross
Grand Cross
of the Order of the Sword
Order of the Sword
(Sweden) Order of Rama
Order of Rama
(Thailand) Order of Katonga
Order of Katonga
(Uganda) Order of the Gold Star (Ukraine) Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross
(United Kingdom Australia Canada New Zealand) Medal
Medal
of Honor (United States)

Obsolete

Order of Saint Louis
Order of Saint Louis
(Kingdom of France) Military
Military
Order of Maria Theresa (Austria-Hungary) Medal
Medal
of Bravery (Kingdom of Hungary) Pour le Mérite
Pour le Mérite
(Kingdom of Prussia) Military
Military
Order of Max Joseph (Kingdom of Bavaria) Military
Military
Order of St. Henry (Kingdom of Saxony) Military
Military
Merit Order (Kingdom of Württemberg) Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
(Nazi Germany) Order of the Golden Kite
Order of the Golden Kite
(Empire of Japan) Order of Lāčplēsis
Order of Lāčplēsis
(Latvia) Grand Cross
Grand Cross
of Valour (Rhodesia) Laureate Plate of Madrid
Laureate Plate of Madrid
(Second Spanish Republic) Castle of Good Hope Decoration
Castle of Good Hope Decoration
(South Africa) Vietnam Military
Military
Merit Medal
Medal
(South Vietnam) Hero of the Soviet Union
Hero of the Soviet Union
(Soviet Union) Order of the Karađorđe's Star with Swords (Kingdom of Yugoslavia) Order of Freedom (SFR Yugoslavia)

Coordinates: 48°51′37″N 2°19′29″E / 48.8602°N 2.3247°E

.