Cross of Liberty (Estonia)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Cross of Liberty
Eesti Vabadusrist.jpg
Illustration of the three grades with each of the three classes
Awarded by  Estonia
Type Three grade order, of three classes each
Awarded for Recognition for services during the Estonian War of Independence
Status No longer awarded
Post-nominals VR I/1 VR I/2 VR I/3
Military Leadership
Personal Courage
Civilian Service
Established Estonian War of Independence
First awarded 24 February 1919
Last awarded 19 June 1925
Total awarded 3156[1]
Next (higher) Highest
Next (lower) Order of the National Coat of Arms
EST Cross of Liberty Military Leadership.png
Cross of Liberty for Military Leadership, Grade I
EST Cross of Liberty Personal Courage.png
Cross of Liberty for Personal Courage, Grade II
EST Cross of Liberty Civilian Service.png
Cross of Liberty for Civilian Service, Grade III

The Cross of Liberty (Estonian: Vabadusrist) was a medal established by then Prime Minister of Estonia, Konstantin Päts, on 24 February 1919 to honor people for their services during the Estonian War of Independence and conferred in three grades, each in three classes. Grade I was for military leadership, Grade II for personal courage, and Grade III for civilian service. Grade and class is attached to the name of recipient in the form of post-nominal letters. The 1st class of II grade was never conferred. Bestowal of the Cross of Liberty was terminated on 19 June 1925.[2]

The last surviving recipient of the Cross of Liberty was Karl Jaanus VR II/3, who died on 6 October 2000.

The War of Independence Victory Column in Tallinn, opened in 2009, is modelled after the Cross of Liberty.


The designer of the Cross of Liberty was the famous Estonian artist Nikolai Triik. He used Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (hochmeister's) cross as the basis for the shape of the Cross of Liberty.[3]

Notable recipients of the Cross of Liberty[edit]