Order of the African Star

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Order of the African Star
Ordre de l'Étoile africaine
AStarIII.jpg
Commander's Cross of the Order of the African Star
Awarded by Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Kingdom of Belgium
Type Order of Merit with five classes and three medals
Motto TRAVAIL ET PROGRES -
ARBEID EN VOORUITGANG
Awarded for Promotion of African civilisation
Status Dormant (Members still living,
but no longer conferred since 1962
)
Sovereign His Majesty King Philippe
Grades (w/ post-nominals) Grand Cross
Grand Officer
Commander
Officer
Knight
Established 1888 - 1908 (Order of Congo Free State)
1908 - 1962 (as Belgian Order)
Precedence
Next (higher) Order of Leopold
Next (lower) Royal Order of the Lion

The Order of the African Star (Dutch: Orde van de Afrikaanse Ster, French: Ordre de l'Étoile africaine) was established by King Leopold II of the Belgians on 30 December 1888, in his capacity as ruler of the Congo Free State, and was awarded for services to Congo and for the "promotion of African civilisation in general". It was incorporated into the Belgian honours system on 10 October 1908 following the annexation of the Congo Free State by Belgium. The motto of the Order is "Travail et progrès" (French: Labour and progress). The King of the Belgians is its Grand Master. Even though Congo is no longer a Belgian colony, it is still considered to be a Belgian Order.

The Order of the African Star is awarded by Royal Decree. Following the independence of Congo in 1960, the Order of the African Star is no longer awarded (although it still exists).

Classes[edit]

The Order of the African Star is administered by the FPS Foreign Affairs and has five classes and three medals:

  1. Grand Cross, which wears the badge on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
  2. Grand Officer, which wears the badge on a necklet and a smaller star on the left chest;
  3. Commander, which wears the badge on a necklet;
  4. Officer, which wears the badge on a ribbon with rosette on the left chest;
  5. Knight, which wears the badge on a ribbon on the left chest;
  6. Medals in Gold, Silver and Bronze on a ribbon on the left chest.

Insignia[edit]

The Badge of the order is a white enamelled five-pointed star with blue borders, surrounded by a crown of green enamelled palm leaves. The central disk shows a gold star on blue enamelled background surrounded by a gold ring displaying the motto of the order: Travail et Progrès (work and progress). The reverse is similar to the obverse but with a central disc of red enamel with a stylised 'double L' crowned Leopold II monogram superimposed. The whole badge is topped by a royal crown linked to the ribbon.

The Plaque is a 10-pointed star, with (for Grand Cross) alternating faceted golden points and rayed silver points, or (for Grand Officer) made of plain silver with alternating faceted points and rayed points. The central disc shows the obverse of the badge, including the surrounding green enamelled palm leaves, and in the top the 'double L' Leopold II monogram. The whole plaque is topped by a royal crown.

The Medal is round in gold, silver and bronze versions, with a suspension in the form of a royal crown with two pendelia and a ribbon ring. The obverse shows a finely ribbed central area with bead surround, with a star superimposed. The surrounding circlet carries the motto of the order: Travail et Progrès (work and progress) - the later issues are bilingual including the Dutch Arbeid en Vooruitgang in the lower half of the circlet. The reverse is a stylised 'double L' crowned Leopold II monogram within a palm wreath.

The Ribbon of the order is azure blue with a large central pale yellow stripe. When awarded in war time, the ribbon of the Order may be adorned with a silver of gold palm.

The Ribbon bar of the order is worn on the semi-formal dress uniform.

Collar of the Order
Front view - Reverse view
Ribbon bars & Decorations
Grand Cross Grand Officer Commander Officer Knight

BEL Order of the African Star - Grand Cross BAR.png

BEL Order of the African Star - Grand Officer BAR.png

BEL Order of the African Star - Commander BAR.png

BEL Order of the African Star - Officer BAR.png

BEL Order of the African Star - Knight BAR.png

Sash - Plaque

Star

Necklet star

Decoration

Decoration

Gold Medal Silver Medal Bronze Medal
.

BEL Order of the African Star - Gold Medal BAR.png

BEL Order of the African Star - Silver Medal BAR.png

BEL Order of the African Star - Bronze Medal BAR.png

.
.

Medal

Medal

Medal

.

Award Conditions[edit]

The Order of the African Star was awarded for especially meritorious service performed in the Belgian Congo. Its award was rare and required the approval of the Council of Ministers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Royal Decree of 26 March 1953 Creating Palms for the Order of the African Star and the Royal Order of the Lion when Awarded in War Time (Moniteur Belge of 14 April 1953)
  • Borné A.C., Distinctions honorifiques de la Belgique, 1830-1985 (Bruxelles: 1985)
  • Van Hoorebeke P., 175 Ans de l'Ordre de Léopold et les Ordres Nationaux Belges (MRA: 2007)

External links[edit]