Cross for the Schools of the Legion of Honour, Type IV, III Class Cross
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The Cross of the Schools of the Legion of Honour was established by Louis XVIII on March 3, 1816. It was not officially part of the Order of the Legion of Honour, although it was under the direction of the Grand Chancellor.
It was conferred upon female faculty who worked in the Schools of the Legion of Honour at Ecouen, Les Loges, and Saint Denis. The Cross has five grades and was displayed in a manner to show the difference in the rank of the faculty.
The Cross was not permitted to be worn outside of the institutions, however after 20 years of service, special permission could be obtained from the Grand Chancellor of the Legion of Honour.
The Cross is classified into five types according to changes instituted in different time periods.
The Type IV Cross was worn during the Third Republic. It has rays in between each arm and oval medallions. The obverse medallion depicts the Virgin on a gold background, and the reverse medallion has an inscription in its centre. The obverse inscription translates to “House of St. Denis,” and the reverse inscription translates to “Honour and Fatherland, Legion of Honour.”
It should be noted that there is no way to distinguish the official Type IV Cross and the second version of the Type III Cross (the most common version).
The III Class Cross is identical to the IV Class Cross. III Class Crosses were worn by First Class Ladies on a ribbon with a rosette and IV Class Crosses were worn by Second Class Ladies on a ribbon without a rosette.
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