National Order of Merit, Type II, Knight
Image courtesy of Cancillería del Ecuador from Ecuador at Wikipedia
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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 II, some resources stand that the enamel of the laurel wreath denotes the grade; Grand Cross is enameled green, Commander is enameled blue, Officer is enameled yellow, and Knight has a silver wreath. However, there are known many variations of this grades that do not follow this instructions. It is quite common to find all these grades with enameled green laurel wreath.
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