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French Legion of Honour

Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Online Book
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Date added: 31 Mar 2017

France Legion of Honour
National Order of the Legion of Honour
Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur

Established by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 May 1802. The Order was the first modern order of merit. The orders of the monarchy 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 and a new legionnaire had to be sworn into the Légion.

The various grades of the Order received a pension :
Chevalier (Knight)                        250 francs
Officier (Officer)                        1,000 francs
Commandeur (Commander)     2,000 francs
Grand Officier (Grand Officer)  5,000 francs
Grand Croix (Grand Cross)
3 women who fought with the army were decorated with the order.

There were nine variations in the design over five models between 1802 and 1815.
The Order's motto is Honneur et Patrie ("Honour and Fatherland").
The ribbons were red.

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