National Order of the Leopard, Civil Division, Knight (1977-1997)
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The National Order of the Leopard was established by the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1966, and it continued to be awarded in the Republic of Zaire from 1977-1997. It is currently awarded by the Democratic Republic - whose President acts as the Grand Master - in recognition of meritorious services rendered to the nation.
There are two versions of the Order that differ in design and inscription according to the time period in which they were awarded. The first version, awarded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1966-1977, and again since 1997, features blue enamel and a blue ribbon. The reverse inscription translates to "Democratic Republic of the Congo, Order of the Leopard." The second version was awarded in the Republic of Zaire from 1977-1997 and features green enamel and a green ribbon. The reverse inscription translates to "Republic of Zaire, Order of the Leopard." Both versions have an obverse inscription that translates to "Peace, Justice, Labour."
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