Ordre national du Mérite
The Ordre national du Mérite ( German national order of merit ) is France's national order of merit . It was founded on December 3, 1963 by the French President Charles de Gaulle and is awarded for special services in the public, civil, military or private sector. The award can be given to any French citizen, in exceptional cases also to foreigners. The respective French President is the Grand Master of the Order and appoints new members. He is also awarded the Grand Cross himself after six months in office.
With the introduction of this fourth highest French order, which is located below the Legion of Honor , Ordre de la Liberation and Military Medal , a number of previously existing ministerial orders were abolished.
The order consists of five classes:
- Grand Cross (Grand-Croix)
- Grand Officer (Grand Officier)
- Commander (Commander)
- Officer (officer)
- Knight (chevalier)
The medal was designed by the French sculptor Max Leognany and is a six-pointed gold - plated and blue enameled star derived from a Maltese cross . In the medallion, also gilded , the head of Française turned to the left with the inscription REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE .
The Grand Cross is worn with a sash from the right shoulder to the left hip and a gold-plated breast star on the left side. This class can also be worn on a collar on special occasions . Grand officers put a silver breast star on the right side and wear the medal on the ribbon on the left breast side. The commander's cross is worn around the neck, officer's and knight's cross on the ribbon on the left side of the chest. There is also a rosette on the officer's tape.
The ribbon is blue.
Ministerial orders abolished in the course of the introduction of the National Order of Merit
- Ordre du Mérite social (since 1936)
- Ordre de la Santé publique (since 1938)
- Ordre du Mérite commercial et industriel (since 1939)
- Ordre du Mérite artisanal (since 1948)
- Ordre du Mérite touristique (since 1949)
- Ordre du Mérite combattant (since 1953)
- Ordre du Mérite postal (since 1953)
- Ordre de l'Économie nationale (since 1954)
- Ordre du Mérite sportif (since 1956)
- Ordre du Mérite du Travail (since 1957)
- Ordre du Mérite militaire (since 1957)
- Ordre du Mérite civil (since 1957)
- Ordre du Mérite Saharan (since 1958)