Gold Star

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The Gold Star medal (Russian: медаль «Золотая Звезда» medal “Zolotaya Zvezda”) is a special insignia that identifies recipients of the title "Hero" in the Soviet Union and some of its allies, and several post-Soviet states.

Soviet origin[edit]

The Gold Star was established by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on August 1, 1939.[citation needed] Previously, a Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded the Order of Lenin and a special diploma (gramota, грамота) describing the heroic feat. The star was introduced to distinguish these heroes from other Order of Lenin recipients.

Although it was commonly described as a medal, it was actually a distinctive badge consisting of a gold star hung from a rectangular suspension device with a red ribbon, and was worn on the left, above and apart from all other orders and medals, and always in full.

The Gold Star was not normally issued for posthumous awards of the title "Hero of the Soviet Union".

Post-Soviet successors[edit]

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" was succeeded by titles and insignia in some of the now-independent states, such as "Hero of Belarus", "Hero of the Russian Federation" and "Hero of Ukraine". Their associated badges derive from the Soviet medal design, replacing red with the color(s) of the issuing state (red for the USSR, white/blue/red for the Russian Federation, blue/yellow for Ukraine, red/green for Belarus).

Similar titles/medals/orders in other countries[edit]