Miniature Knight (Civil Division, 1877-1932)
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Prior to the establishment of the Order of the Star of Romania in 1877, another order had been envisioned in 1863 under the rule of Alexander Ioan Cuza. Cuza did not, however, officially institute the order before he was deposed by a coup in 1866. The awards that had been conferred were considered to be personal gifts and never state decorations.
The Order of the Star of Romania was established by Prince Carol I, the future King Carol I, in 1877 in the first official act of the sovereign nation of Romania. The Order was later suppressed in 1947 after the abolition of the Romanian monarchy, but it was reinstated in 1998 following the collapse of the communist regime. It is currently conferred upon Romanian citizens in recognition of meritorious service to Romania. It had also been awarded to foreign military personnel in the First and Second World War.
During the Romanian War of Independence (1877-1878) and prior to the creation of the Military Division, the Order was awarded to military personnel with a crossed swords clasp. From 1943-1947 the Order could be conferred upon military Officers with an oak leaf clasp and a special ribbon in recognition of acts of bravery, and from 1944-1947 a star clasp could also be awarded on the bravery ribbon for additional acts of distinction.
The Order has been awarded in two divisions since 1885. The Military Division is further divided into peacetime and wartime decorations. Military Division decorations awarded in peacetime feature surmounting crossed swords and Military Division decorations awarded in wartime feature crossed swords that run through the body of the cross.
There are three different models of the Knight. The first model, awarded from 1877-1932, has rays between the arms of the cross and a surmounting royal crown, while the second model, awarded from 1932-1947, has eagles between the arms of the cross and a surmounting royal crown. The third model has been awarded since 1998 and features eagles between the arms of the cross with a surmounting wreath of oak and laurel. All three models have an obverse inscription that translates to “Salvation through Faith.”
The first model Knight was awarded on a red ribbon edged with two blue stripes and the second model was awarded on a red ribbon edged in silver. The second model could also be awarded on a wartime ribbon (the same, but with added gold stripes) and a bravery ribbon (red edged in blue). The third model Knight is awarded on a red ribbon edged with two blue stripes, with additional gold stripes when awarded during periods of war.
In addition to the three models and different divisional decorations, there may be additional versions of the Knight that differ in size or composition due to a variety of manufacturers.
The later versions are listed in the Orders of Romania (1990-).
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