Order of Albert the Bear, Commander Breast Star
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The Order of Albert the Bear was founded Prince Sigismund I and was named after Albrecht the Bear (1110-1170), who was the first Ascanian Margrave of Brandenburg, as well as the Count of Anhalt and Ballenstadt.
On November 18, 1836, the Order was renewed and made a joint House Order by three dukes of Anhalt: Henry (Heinrich), Duke of Anhalt-Köthen, Leopold IV, Duke of Anhalt, and Alexander Carl, Duke of Anhalt-Bernburg. The Dukes awarded the Order to meritorious subjects as a token of honour and distinction.
The Order originally featured three main grades and two merit medals, which included: Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, Commander, Knight, Gold Medal of Merit, and Silver Medal of Merit.
In 1848, the grade of Commander was expanded into I Class Command with I Class Commander Breast Star and II Class Commander.
In 1854, the grade of Knight was expanded into I Class Knight and II Class Knight.
The Order was amended on July 18, 1864, wherein crossed swords, in recognition of wartime merit, were added between the top of the medal and the suspension ring. The crossed swords indicate a Military Division award, while the lack of crossed swords indicates a Civil Division award.
In 1901, a surmounting gold-coloured crown was added to the grade of Grand Cross, I Class Commander, II Class Commander, and I Class Knight. While in 1901, a surmounting silver crown was added to the grade of II Class Knight.
The inscription translates to: Fear God and Follow His Commands.
The revision of the statute in 1850 included the creation of a Breast Star for I Class Commander. This is the only difference between the two grades.
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