National Order of Merit, Type I, Bronze Medal
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The National Order of Merit (Orden Nacional al Mérito) was instituted in Ecuador by decree of October 8, 1921 as the Medal of Merit (Medalla al Mérito). Its name was changed to the National Order of Merit in 1929, when the Medal became an Order.
It was originally founded with three grades; Gold Medal, Silver Medal, and Bronze Medal. The design of the Medal was inspired by the Medal for the Battle of Pichincha instituted in 1822.
The grades were regulated on June 28, 1937, since then they are: Grand Collar, Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, and Knight.
The Order is currently awarded to civil and military personnel, either foreigners or Ecuadorians, in recognition of outstanding achievements to the nation in the fields of diplomacy, science, literature, and the arts. It is Ecuador’s second-highest award.
In MB, the Order is classified into types according with the grades regulations. Type I includes the awards between 1921 and 1937. Type II consists of the awards since 1937 to present.
In Type I, some resources stand that the Medal was created in 1821, however it could be a confusion with the Medal for the Battle of Pichincha. Also, the Medal could originally consist of one grade, however this information is not confirmed.
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