Order of the Cross of Liberty, Civil Division, Grand Cross
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The Order of the Cross of Liberty was instituted on March 4, 1918. It is awarded for military merit and civilians for distinguished actions in support of the Finnish Defence Forces.
The Regent Mannerheim discontinued its conferral in 1919, because he considered that the Cross of Liberty had fulfilled its purpose.
The Award was re-established during the Winter War. On December 16, 1940, it became under the President of the Republic Mannerheim a permanent Order of the Cross of Liberty, which is still being awarded.
The Order get awarded by the Grand Master of the Cross of Liberty (also the Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces). Hehas the exclusive right to confer the Decoration.
He is divided into Civil and Military Division with the following Classes:
I Class with Star
Medal of Liberty, I Class
Medal of Merit, I Class
Medal of Liberty, II Class
Medal of Merit, II Class
The Order also includes also special Classes. They are as follows:
Mannerheim Cross, I Class
Mannerheim Cross, II Class
Medal of Liberty, I Class with Rosette
Medal of Merit, in Gold
Cross of Mourning
Medal of Mourning
The Military Division features swords, and were conferred to recognize merit in combat. With oak leaves, it recognize additional gallantry in action, and oak leaves and swords recognize an extremely successful military action.
The decorations with diamonds indicates the award as the highest possible honour.
While the Civil Division awards do not have swords, and were conferred to recognize non-combat merit.
The Mannerheim Cross, I Class and II Class were awarded to military personnel who had planned and executed gallant acts within wartime military operations.
Until 1942 the Grand Cross, I Class Cross, and II Class Cross were awarded on a yellow ribbon with a red border, while the grades of III Class Cross and IV Class Cross were awarded on a yellow ribbon with a white border.
In 1942 all awards conferred during wartime were awarded on a red ribbon with a white border. It also was retroactive awarded on red ribbon for honours up to 1939.
The Grand Cross is only awarded to Heads of State and important military leaders.
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