MADAGASCAR

ORDERS & DECORATIONS

 

The Order of the Royal Hawk (Voromahery Laharana) - Type II Grand Cross, breast star.

The Order of the Royal Hawk (Voromahery Laharana): founded by King Radama I before June 1823. Reformed and reorganised twice. Awarded in four classes (1. Lakoraonina Lehibe or Grand Cross, 2. Lakoraony kely ny komandy-lesser cross of Commander, 3. Lakoraony kely ny Offisier or Officer and 4. Knight). The insignia of the order followed a system of differing numbers of arms for different classes; five for the first, second and third classes, seven for officer, eight for knight. Awarded very rarely, with general officers frequently being admitted to no higher rank than Officer. Ribbon: originally equal bands of red and green, later red with very narrow white stripes.

The Order of the Royal Hawk (Voromahery Laharana)
Type III Officer breast badge (C) and Knight breast badge (R)

The Order of Radama II - Type I Grand Cross breast star (L) and Type II Grand Officer neck badge (R)

The Order of Radama II: founded by King Radama II on 13th September 1862 as a general order of merit, primarily intended for civil and diplomatic services. Modified by Queen Ranavalona II. Awarded in five classes (1. Lakoraonina lehibe-Grand Cross, 2. Lakoraony ny Offisier lehibe-cross of Grand Officer, 3. Lakoraony kely ny komandy-lesser cross of Commander, 4. Lakoraony kely ny Offisier-lesser cross of Officer, and 5. Knight). Ribbon - originally broad white with five narrow vertical stripes (three in green at the edges and centre, and two inbetween in red), later modified to deep red with narrow white horizontal stripes (for nationals) or white edged with blue (foreigners).

The Order of Radama II - badge, Officer Type I on a national ribbon (L) and Knight Type II on a foreign ribbon (R)

The Medal of Merit of the Order of Radama II: instituted by King Radama II at the same time as the order and attached to it. Awarded in two classes (1. medaly lehibe-'great medal' gold, 2. medaly kely-'lesser medal' in silver) and inscribed on the obverse: "Radama II, Mapanjaka", reverse: "Mpanjaka ny Madagascar, Radama II". Frequently confused with the Coronation Medal (see below). Ribbon - deep red with narrow white horizontal stripes (for nationals) or white edged with blue (foreigners). Obsolete 1897.

The Medal of Merit of the Order of Radama II, Second Class in Silver, obverse (L) and reverse (R)

The Order of Military Merit: founded by Queen Ranavalona II in September 1867. Awarded in four (or five?) classes (1. Grand Commander - awarded to the Grand Master of the Army alone - gold badge worn from a grand collar together with an elaborate embroidured sash including embroidured representations of the badge, 2. Commander - neck badge, 3. Officer - breast badge, and 4. Knight - breast badge). A plain Maltese cross without enameling, with palm fronds between each arm and a crown suspension. Ribbon - sky blue. Obsolete 1897.

Two portraits of Field Marshal H.E. Rainilaiarivony, 16-Honours and Officer of the Palace, Prime Minister and C-in-C, Supreme Director of Affairs, Grand Master of the Army, President of the Grand Council and effective regent of the kingdom.
Left ca. 1865 -
collar and badge of the Order of Military Merit 1st class, Commander's stars of the Orders of Radama II (right breast above) and the Royal Hawk (right breast below), the medal ribbons and badges of the Order of Military Merit 3rd class, Cross of Merit 1st class, Order of Military Merit 4th class, and the Star of Service.

Right ca. 1885
- sash of the Order of Military Merit, Commander of the Order of Radama II star (right breast) and badge (neck), Grand Cross of the Order of Radama II star (left breast above), the medal ribbons and badges of the Order of Military Merit 3rd class, Cross of Merit 1st class, Order of Military Merit 4th class, and an unidentified star. Notice that the pale blue ribbon and bow around the collar is a neck tie, not the ribbon of the Order of Radama II and the plain ribbon for the Cross of Merit is incorrect.

The Order of the Kingdom - Grand Cross (Type III), sash badge obverse (L) breast star (C) and sash badge reverse (R)

The Order of the Kingdom (Mpanjakana Laharana): founded by Queen Ranavalona III in 1883, but probably in existence from an earlier time. A a general order of merit, but usually conferred sparingly on foreigners and for diplomatic services. Awarded in four classes (1. Lakoraonina lehibe-Grand Cross, 2. Lakoraony ny Offisier lehibe-cross of Grand Officer, 3. Lakoraony kely ny komandy-lesser cross of Commander, 4. Lakoraony kely ny Offisier-lesser cross of Officer, and 5. Knight). Ribbon - half red, half white.

The Order of the Kingdom - Commander breast star (L) and Officer (Type I) bejewelled breast badge (R).

The Order of Ranavolo (or the Royal Order of Madagascar): founded by Queen Ranavalona III in May 1896 as a reward for personal services to the sovereign, military exploits, discoveries, and the promotion of the agricultural, industrial, scientific or military development of Madagascar. Awarded in five classes (1. Grand Cordon, 2. Grand Officer, 3. Commander, 4. Officer, and 5. Knight) and limited in total to 654 national and 309 French subjects, and an unlimeted number of foreigners. Ribbon - white with red italic blocks. Obsolete 1897.

The Order of Ranavalona III - Officer breast badge (L), Grand Cross breast star (C) and Knight breast badge (R)

The Cross of Merit: founded by King Radama II in 1861, primarily as a reward for military service, modified by Queen Ranavalona II. Awarded in three classes. Ribbon - red edged with white stripes. Obsolete 1897.

The Cross of Merit (L) and the Cross of Honour 1st class (R)

The Cross of Honour: founded by Queen Ranavalona II, primarily as a reward for civil services. Awarded in three classes. Ribbon - red. Obsolete 1897.
The Star of Service: founded by Queen Ranavalona II. Awarded in a single class. Ribbon - red with narrow white stripes. Obsolete 1897.

The Star of Service (obverse)

King Radama II Coronation Medal: instituted by King Radama II on 23rd September 1862 to commemorate his Coronation. Awarded in two classes (1. Gold, and 2. Silver) and inscribed obverse: "Radama II, Mapanjaka" reverse: "Madagascar, Anatanarivo 23 September 1862" i.e. the date of his coronation at Imahamasina). Ribbon: white edged in red.

King Radama II Coronation Medal 2nd class in silver, obverse (L) and reverse (R)

The Medal for Law and Order: instituted by Queen Ranavalona I as a reward for those who uphold law and maintain public order (inscribed "Ranavalo Manjaka, Mpanjaka ny Madagascar, Mampitady Izay Mandikia ny Lalana" or "Ranavalona, Queen of Madagascar searches out those who enfringe the law"). Awarded in a single class (silver), suspended from a silver chain worn around the neck.
The Medal of Recompense: instituted by Queen Ranavalona III in 1884 in reward for service to the sovereign and the state (inscribed "Ranavalomanjaka III, Mpanjaka ny Madagascar, Manome Ity Nohiny ny Soa Natao" or "Ranavalona III, Queen of Madagascar, given in appreciation of excellent past services to the nation"). Awarded in a single class (silver), suspended from a silver chain worn around the neck.

 
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Copyrightę Christopher Buyers, December 2001 - July 2008