Order of Merit, Type II, Civil Division, Grand Cross Breast Star
Image courtesy of "Die Ritter und Verdienst Orden, Ehrenzeichen und Medaillen aller Souveräne und Statten", L.J. Trost
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This Order was founded by King Friedrich August after his release from imprisonment in 1815. The Order was conferred upon citizens of Saxony, and foreign citizens, in recognition of merit and virtue within distinguished civil services.
The Order was originally called the "Order of Civil Merit", but the name was changed in 1849 to the "Order of Merit".
The Order grades were also awarded with crossed swords beginning in 1866 to recognize recipients for military merit and service.
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