Order of the Liberator, Type I, V Class
Image courtesy of "Die Ritter und Verdienst Orden, Ehrenzeichen und Medaillen aller Souveräne und Statten", L.J. Trost
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The Order of the Liberator (Orden del Libertador) has a long and convoluted history that began with the creation of the Order of the Liberators of Venezuela by Simon Bolivar on October 22, 1813. This Order was created to reward the military personnel from Gran Colombia and Venezuela who distinguished themselves fighting for the cause of independence. No examples of this Order have survived, and the official documentation is vague regarding the Order's statutes and bestowal conditions.
In 1854, the Distinguished Medal with the Bust of Bolivar (Medalla de Distinción con el Busto del Libertador) was created to reward Chiefs, Generals, and Officers, in recognition of the loyalty to the national cause, as well as civilians who have served notably to the nation. By then, the Medal consisted of a unique grade that displayed the Bust of Bolivar on the obverse, and the Venezuelan coat of arms on the reverse.
Finally, the Medal was promoted to Order by President Antonio Guzmán Blanco in 1881. It was created with five classes: I Class, II Class, III Class, IV Class, and V Class. The I Class, II Class, and III Class featured breast stars with different designs.
The Order underwent reforms in 1922, when the Collar was added and the size of the badges and breast stars were changed. Until 2010, it was the Venezuela's highest official award, and it was conferred to civilians and military personnel, both national and foreign, in recognition of meritorious services for Venezuela.
The Order was suppressed and replaced by the Order of Liberators and Liberatresses of Venezuela in 2010. This Order displays the same design than the Order created by Bolivar in 1813, and is conferred upon Venezuelans, foreigners, public or private institutions, for their merits and services in favor of the liberating causes and the environment, as well as for the foster of multi-ethnic, pluricultural and socialist world, in contribution for the benefit of the fatherland or humanity.
This Order is often referred to as the Order of Bolivar or the Order of the Bust of Bolivar. However, it is commonly confused for the Peruvian Order with the same name.
In MedalBook, the Order of the Liberator is classified into types according with the changes of its statutes. Type I includes the awards corresponding to the period from 1880 to 1922. Type II includes the awards from 1922 to 2010, while Type III consists of the awards from 2010 to present.
In Type I, the badge of the Order was made in solid gold, and the breast star was identical for I Class and II Class.
V Class badge was awarded on a three colored breast ribbon. Early version of the badge does not feature the oval central medallion on the obverse.
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