Order of the sword

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Knight's Cross of the Order of the Sword

The Order of the Sword ( Swedish Svärdsorden ) is a Swedish military merit order for officers of all degrees, including the foreign armed forces, which was awarded in recognition of heroism and long useful service. The order has not been awarded since 1975, but has not yet expired, as many old knights are still alive and the king remains Grand Master of the order. It is also called "The Yellow Ribbon".


The Order of the Sword was founded in 1522 by King Gustav I. Wasa and renewed and established by Frederick I in 1748 . King Adolf Friedrich later confirmed it with small changes. He received new statutes from Gustav IV on November 26, 1798.

Order classes

Originally the order consisted of four classes. According to the amendment to the statutes of November 25, 1889, the knight class was divided into two departments. The number of members in the first two classes was limited to 24 holders each.

The princes of the royal house received the commander's cross when they were born. The Swedish military could only be awarded the Commander's Cross after twenty years of irreproachable service. In the event of war, the years of which were counted twice, there was a separate decoration, awarded only for merit in front of the enemy, the Knights of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword 1st and 2nd Class. However, the medal could also be awarded in the event of a serious wound or the capture of an enemy sign of victory.

The accolade took place during the campaign and always in the open air. The not inconsiderable income of the order was used for pensions .

Order decoration

The decoration and the costumes received several changes over time.

The sign of the order consists of a white, octagonal cross with golden crowns in the corners, over which two swords are held crosswise by a sword hanger. On the azure obverse of the central shield is a bared, upright sword, surrounded by three crowns, on the lapel a sword with a laurel wreath and the words Pro patria ( Latin for the fatherland ).

Carrying method

The commanders with the Grand Cross wear a chain of eleven swords wrapped with swords and eleven blue helmets on shields and a star on their chest and an upright sword on their chests. Usually the cross is carried over the shoulder on a yellow ribbon with a blue border. The commanders wear the medal around their necks and two crossed swords on their chests along with a smaller silver star on their chests, while the knights wear a cross without the surrounding swords. The order had a special festive costume light blue - white.

Known porters


Web links

Commons : Order of the Sword  - collection of images, videos and audio files