Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany

Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Grand Cross in a Special Design (left), Special degree of the Grand Cross (middle and right)
Awarded by the president of Germany
Type State decoration with seven regular and two special classes
Eligibility Civilians and military personnel
Established 7 September 1951
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 9 Sond des Grosskreuzes.svg
Grand Cross special class

GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 8 Grosskreuz bes Ausf.svg
Grand Cross 1st class (special design)
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 7 Grosskreuz.svg
Grand Cross 1st class
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 6 GrVK Stern Band.svg
Grand Cross
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 5 GrVK Stern.svg
Knight Commander's Cross
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 4 GrVK.svg
Commander's Cross
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 3 BVK 1Kl.svg
Officer's Cross
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 2 BVK.svg
GER Bundesverdienstkreuz 1 BVM.svg
Ribbon bars of the Order of Merit

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland) is the only general state decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has existed since 7 September 1951, and between 3,000 and 5,200 awards are given every year across all classes.[citation needed] Colloquially, the decorations of the different classes of the Order are known as Federal Cross of Merit (German: Bundesverdienstkreuz).

Most of the German federal states (Bundesländer) have their own orders of merit, with up to three ranks (member, officer, commander). This excludes the Free and Hanseatic Cities of Bremen and Hamburg, which reject any orders; by old tradition their citizens will refuse any decoration in the form of an order (most famous example: former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt).



Grand Cross

The Bundesverdienstkreuz has eight classes, in ascending order:

  • Verdienstmedaille (Medal)
  • Verdienstkreuz am Bande (Cross)
    international equivalent: Ritterkreuz (Knight's Cross)
  • Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse (Officer's Cross)
  • Großes Verdienstkreuz (Halskreuz) (Commander's Cross or Grand Cross (Neck cross))
  • Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern (Knight Commander's Cross or Grand Cross with Star)
  • Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern und Schulterband (Grand Cross with Star and Sash)
    international equivalent: Großkreuz 2. Klasse (Grand Cross of Merit, Second class) or Großkomturkreuz (Grand Commander's Cross)
  • Großkreuz (Grand Cross 1st class)
  • Sonderstufe des Großkreuzes (Grand Cross special class)

The President of the Federal Republic holds the Sonderstufe des Großkreuzes ex officio. It is awarded to him in a ceremony by the President of the Bundestag attended by the Chancellor, the President of the Bundesrat and the Supreme Court President. Other than the President of the Federal Republic, only a foreign head of state can be awarded with the highest class. There is also the provision of awarding the Großkreuz in a special rare design,[1] which has so far only been used twice: for Konrad Adenauer and for Helmut Kohl.

Medal of Merit
Certificate of Bestowal


Except for the lowest class, the badge is the same for all classes, but with slightly different versions for men and women (slightly smaller badge and ribbon for women):

The badge is a golden Cross enamelled in red, with a central disc bearing a black eagle.

The star is a golden star with straight rays, its size and points vary according to class, with the badge superimposed upon it.

The ribbon is red with gold-black-gold stripes.

See also


  1. ^ In which the central medallion with the black eagle is surrounded by a stylized laurel wreath in relief.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Order of Merit (disambiguation) — Order of Merit may refer to: Extant national orders: Order of Merit of Antigua and Barbuda, see Commonwealth realms orders and decorations Order of Merit (Austria) Order of Merit of the Bahamas Order of Merit of the Police Forces (Canada) Order… …   Wikipedia

  • Orders and medals of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia — Orders and medals were awarded in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (and later Serbia and Montenegro) between 1998 and 2006. Before the 1992 dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia, the Orders and medals of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia… …   Wikipedia

  • Germany — /jerr meuh nee/, n. a republic in central Europe: after World War II divided into four zones, British, French, U.S., and Soviet, and in 1949 into East Germany and West Germany; East and West Germany were reunited in 1990. 84,068,216; 137,852 sq.… …   Universalium

  • Order of the Yugoslav Star — Yugoslav Great Star (the badge, the star and the ribbon bar) Award of …   Wikipedia

  • The Irish (in Countries Other Than Ireland) —     The Irish (in countries other than Ireland)     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Irish (in countries other than Ireland)     I. IN THE UNITED STATES     Who were the first Irish to land on the American continent and the time of their arrival are …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • The Dearborn Independent — The International Jew: The World s Problem in The Dearborn Independent, May 22, 1920 The Dearborn Independent, a/k/a The Ford International Weekly, was a weekly newspaper established in 1901, but published by Henry Ford from 1919 through 1927. It …   Wikipedia

  • Authorized foreign decorations of the United States military — are those military decorations which have been approved for wear by members of the United States armed forces but whose awarding authority is the government of a country other than the United States. Policy and DeterminationThe wear of foreign… …   Wikipedia

  • Chivalric order — Chivalric orders are societies and fellowships of knights[1] that have been created by European monarchs in imitation of the military orders of the Crusades. After the crusades, the memory of these crusading military orders became idealised and… …   Wikipedia

  • List of titles and honours of the Spanish Crown — King Juan Carlos I is a direct descendant of many famous European rulers from different countries, such as Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (who as Carlos I is said to have been the first King of Spain), King Louis XIV of France and Queen Victoria of …   Wikipedia

  • Juliana of the Netherlands — For the airport of the same name, see Princess Juliana International Airport. Juliana Juliana in 1963 Queen of the Netherlands Reign …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.