Ordre national du Mérite

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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:

Order decoration

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 .

Only the Chevalier cross is silver-plated . The connection with the ribbon represents a laurel wreath .

Carrying method

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

Known porters

Web links

Commons : Ordre national du Mérite  - Collection of images, videos and audio files