Order of the Star of Brabant, II Class Grand Commander Breast Star
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The Order of the Star of Brabant was instituted on June 14, 1914 by Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig in commemoration of the birthday of his ancestor, Duke Henry I of Brabant. The Order of the Star of Brabant was of equal status with the Order of Philip the Magnanimous. The order was meant to serve as a physical representation of the bond between the prince and his people. It was conferred upon both men and women, regardless of status or class, for civil merit within a number of fields.
The Order of the Star of Brabant originally consisted of twelve awards for men and four for women. The order was not conferred for war merit, and having been established immediately prior to World War I, it was not conferred often during the war years. The Order of the Star of Brabant became obsolete in 1918.
According to the Grand Ducal Hessian Government Gazette from the years 1915 to 1918, a total of 56 awards were conferred upon men and 11 to women. Members of the Order of the Star of Brabant were required to include the dignity received in their titles, and the sign of the order could be added to their coat of arms. The appointment of members was reserved solely for the Grand Duke and his successors in government. Individuals could not apply for the award. If a member was promoted to a higher class or died, the order had to be returned.
The inscription FVNW stands for "Verdienste um den FÜRSTEN und das VOLK der NÄCHSTENLIEBE, und die WOHLFAHRT des Volkes". This inscription roughly translates to: Services to the Ruler and the People. Charitable services for the well-being of the people.
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