Commander (Military Division, 1940-1945)
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The Order of Orange-Nassau was established by Queen Emma in the name of her daughter, Queen Wilhelmina, in 1892. It was considered necessary to establish another order following the discontinuation of the Order of the Oak Crown and the Order of the Golden Lion of Nassau in the Netherlands. It is currently the most widely conferred order in the Netherlands. The reigning Dutch monarch is the Grand Master of the Order.
The Order is conferred upon Dutch citizens and foreigners in recognition of meritorious service to Dutch society. During the Second World War, it was conferred upon Dutch and Allied military personnel for participation in the liberation of the Netherlands and Dutch colonies.
The Order is conferred in a Civil Division and Military Division. The Military Division is awarded to military personnel, and not in recognition of military merit, although this is most often the case. The decorations of the Civil Division feature a laurel wreath between the arms of the cross, while the decorations of the Military Division feature crossed swords. All decorations are meant to be returned to the state following the death of a member.
The Commander features an obverse inscription that translates to, "I Shall Maintain," and a reverse inscription that translates to "God Be With Us." The reverse also features the royal monogram of Queen Wilhelmina. It is worn on a neck ribbon that is 55mm wide for men and 37mm wide for women. It is identical to the Grand Officer, however, only the Grand Officer is worn with a Breast Star.
There are at least two versions of the Commander that differ in the spelling of the reverse inscription. Until about 1970, the reverse inscription featured the spelling “Zy,” while versions made after this date feature “Zij.” There may be additional versions that differ in size, composition, or manufacturer.
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