Order of the Roman Eagle, Grand Cross Breast Star, in gold
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This short-lived Order was founded by Victor Emanuel III, and it was awarded to citizens of "friendly" foreign nations in recognition of extraordinary civil and military merit.
The Order was officially awarded from 1942-1944, but it was discontinued by Umberto II on October 5, 1944. It continued to be awarded unofficially by Benito Mussolini from 1944-1945, during the Italian Social Republic.
The Order has two main categories, civil merit awards and military merit awards. The awards for civil merit feature a wreath between the cross arms, while the awards for military merit feature crossed swords and a wreath between the cross arms.
On August 24, 1942, the Order statutes were amended to emulate the Order of the German Eagle, resulting in the division of the Grand Cross into two separate grades, the Gold Grand Cross and the Silver Grand Cross, and the addition of a Silver Medal and Bronze Medal to the Order.
The awards conferred from 1942-1943 feature a crowned eagle with the shield of Savoy on the obverse medallion. While the awards conferred from 1944-1945 feature a crown-less eagle without the shield of Savoy and a fasces clutched in its talons on the obverse medallion.
The medals awarded for civil merit feature an eagle with spread wings holding a fasces in its talons on the obverse medallion. The medals awarded for military merit feature an eagle with spread wings holding a fasces in its talons and crossed swords behind the eagle on the obverse medallion.
The Gold Grand Cross grade was reserved for high ranking Heads of State and political figures, and it was restricted to a maximum of 10 recipients.
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