Order of the Zähringer Lion, Commander (with oak leaves and "L" cipher)
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80 were awarded.
The "L" cipher was discontinued in 1866.
It is suggested that the Order was founded by Grand Duke Karl in 1809 and named in the memory of his ancient predecessors, the Dukes of Zähringen. However, the actual foundation of the order is attributed to the Grand Duke Charles, who established the Order on the name day of his consort, Stephanie of Beauharnais, in 1812. On June 17, 1840, the statues of the Order were officially instituted by Grand Duke Ludwig.
The Order was awarded to recognize civil and military merit and the first Order conferral ceremonies took place 1815.
The Order originally featured three grades, Grand Cross with Grand Cross Breast Star, Commander, and Knight. In 1840, the Commander grade was divided into I Class Commanded with I Class Commander Breast Star and II Class Commander.
Beginning in 1815, surmounting golden oak leaves could be awarded with all Order grades to indicate additional merit and achievements. These oak leaves originally included an "L" cipher, but the use of the cipher was discontinued in 1866.
In 1866, the Knight grade was divided into I Class Knight and II Class Knight, and crossed swords were instituted as a possible attribute that could be added to all Order grades to indicate war merit.
The awards without swords were conferred for civil merit, while the awards with swords were conferred to recognize military merit.
The last modification was instituted on April 29, 1889, wherein a Merit Cross was added as an Order grade to reward civilians for exceptional bravery and merit in the face of the enemy.
The I Class Commander and II Class Commander are identical, the only difference between the two grades is that the I Class Commander is awarded with an associated Breast Star.
The I Class Commander was also, on occasion, awarded with diamonds.
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