Order of Vytautas the Great

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Part of Order with Golden Chain

The Order of Vytautas the Great is the Lithuanian Presidential Award.[1] It may be conferred on the heads of Lithuania and foreign states, as well as their citizens, for distinguished services to the State of Lithuania.

History[edit]

The Order was instituted in 1930 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas the Great. The badge of the Order, struck in pre-war Lithuania, was designed by a Lithuanian artist, Jonas Burba. The insignia of the Order issued today are of the same design.

Classes[edit]

The Order of Vytautas the Great has five classes:

1. Grand Cross Ribbon
2. Commander's Grand Cross Ribbon
3. Commander's Cross Ribbon
4. Officer's Cross Ribbon
5. Knight's Cross Ribbon
Special class of this insignia - the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain. Ribbon

Grand Cross[edit]

Grand Cross and Star

The insignia of the Grand Cross consists of the Grand Cross, Star and sash. The Grand Cross is 50mm wide. It is made from gold and covered with white enamel. On the front of the Cross a rider is depicted against a background of a red shield. The same shield, with a V (to signify the name Vytautas) in the middle is on the reverse of the Cross. Above the shield is the Grand Crown of the Duke. On the edges of the Cross are the dates of Vytautas the Great's rule (1392–1430). The reverse of the Cross features a golden Royal Crown embellished with three crystal stones.

The Star measures 85mm, and is made from gold. It has nine sides. In the centre, a smaller version of the Vytautas the Great Cross with a golden Crown above is depicted on a background of blue enamel.

The Order's sash is made from white moiré and is 100mm wide for men, 65mm for women. It features two smaller orange strips on the sides.

The Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia were the first foreigners to receive the Order in 1995, during the official visit of the President of Lithuania to Sweden.

Commander's Grand Cross[edit]

The Commander's Grand Cross insignia consists of the Grand Cross, Star and Ribbon. The Grand Cross has most of the same features as above. The Order's ribbon is made from white moiré with two orange stripes, and is 40mm wide for men and women.

The Order's Star measures 85mm and has nine sides. It is made from gold. In the centre, there is a smaller version of the Vytautas the Great Cross with a golden Crown, on black enamel.

Commander's Cross[edit]

The Commander's Cross consists of a Cross and Ribbon. It is similar to the Grand Cross.

Officer's Cross[edit]

The Officer's Cross consists of a Cross and small Ribbon. It is similar to the Grand Cross, but smaller at 42mm. The Ribbon is 32mm wide and made from white moiré.

Knight's Cross[edit]

The Knight's Cross consists of a Cross and small Ribbon, similar to the Officer's Cross.

Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain[edit]

Set of Order with Golden Chain: Golden Chain and Order, Star, Cross (badge)

This special class of Order is the highest award of the State of Lithuania.[2] It consists of a golden chain, cross, star and sash.

Parts of the Golden Chain form a double (six angle) cross, graced with a stylized V. Both edges of the Chain are linked by the central part, whose form and ornaments are taken from the seal of Vytautas the Great. The bear represents Smolensk, the horseman represents Vilnius, the warrior represents Trakai and the cross represents Volyn.

Full view of Order with Golden Chain

Recipients of the Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lietuvos Respublikos Konstitucija. 84 straipsnis. Priimta 1992
  2. ^ Lietuvos Respublikos Seimas. Valstybės apdovanojimų įstatymas. Antras skyrius-Vytauto Didžiojo Ordino statusas. 2002
  3. ^ http://tvp.info/informacje/polska/walesa-odmawia-litwinom-z-powodu-polonii/5214828 (in Polish)