Order of the Southern Cross
|National Order of the Southern Cross|
Grand Collar of the National Order of the Southern Cross
|Awarded by the Government of Brazil|
|Awarded for||"As a token of gratitude and recognition for those who have rendered significant service to the Brazilian nation."|
|Grand Master||His Excellency the President of Brazil|
|Grades||Grand Cross with Collar
|First induction||December 1, 1822|
Ribbon bar of the National Order of the Southern Cross
The National Order of the Southern Cross (Portuguese: Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul) is a Brazilian order of chivalry founded by Emperor Pedro I on 1 December 1822. This order was intended to commemorate the independence of Brazil and the coronation of Pedro I. The name derives from the geographical position of the country, under the constellation of the Southern Cross and also in memory of the name – Terra de Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross) – given to Brazil at the time of European discovery.
Originally known as the Imperial Order of the Southern Cross (Ordem Imperial do Cruzeiro do Sul), the Order was created by Emperor Pedro I on the day of his Coronation, 1 December 1822. Also on the same date the first knights of the order were appointed, to commemorate the crowning of the Empire's first monarch. After the proclamation of the independence of Brazil on 7 September 1822 other honorific awards had been made, but of the Orders of chivalry shared with Portugal, Brazilian branches of which had been created upon independence; the Order of the Southern Cross, created to mark the Coronation of the Empire's founder, was thus also the first purely Brazilian Order.
After the fall of the monarchy, Brazil's first republican Constitution, enacted on 24 February 1891, abolished all titles of nobility and all Imperial Orders and decorations. The Order was later re-established by the government of Getúlio Vargas on December 5, 1932, as the National Order of the Southern Cross.
During the Old Republic period (from the Proclamation of the Republic until the Revolution of 1930), National Orders did not exist and the Brazilian State bestowed only military medals. Restored in 1932, the Order of the Southern Cross was the first Order to be created in the re-established, republican honours system. It is considered the senior Brazilian National Order.
During the Imperial period, the Order of the Southern Cross was not the highest ranking of the Imperial Orders, as it ranked below the Brazilian branches of the ancient orders of chivalry, that originated with Portugal: the Order of Christ (the senior-most Order), the Order of Saint Benedict of Aviz and the Order of St. James of the Sword. Those Orders were shared by Brazil and Portugal; the Order of Christ was shared with the Holy See similar to the Austrian and a Spanish Orders of the Golden Fleece. However among the Brazilian created Orders, the Imperial Order of the Southern Cross ranked first, having higher status than the Imperial Order of Pedro I and the Imperial Order of the Rose.
The Imperial Order of the Southern Cross continues to be used by both branches of the Brazilian Imperial Family as a House Order, awarded by the rival claimants to the position of Head of the Imperial Family, but such awards are not recognized by the Republic of Brazil.
Just like the Emperors of Brazil were ex officio Grand Masters of the Imperial Order, Presidents of Brazil are ex officio Grand Masters of the successor National Order. Accordingly, President Michel Temer is the Order's current Grand Master.
Unlike the Imperial Order, that was awarded to Brazilians and foreigners alike, the republican National Order is awarded to foreigners only. When the Order was re-established in by presidential decree on January 13, 1932, it was restricted to foreigners only with the stipulation that all awards of the Order constitute an act of foreign relations on the part of the Brazilian Government.
Brazilians were excluded deliberately. In the Old Republic, the State regarded Orders and decorations as contrary to the principles of republicanism, and thus maintained no honours system; the creation of an Order that would admit Brazilians to its ranks was a step too far. However, the Brazilian State also resented the lack of a decoration with which to honour foreign dignitaries, as is sometimes almost required by diplomatic protocol. For instance, during the celebrations of the Centennial of Brazilian Independence in 1922, several foreign dignitaries, including the King and Queen of the Belgians, came to Brazil for the celebrations. The King of the Belgians bestowed Belgian honours to some Brazilians. Brazilian nationals needed authorization from the Government to accept foreign titles of honour, or else face loss of citizenship, and under normal circumnstances permission for the acceptance of appointment to Orders of Chivalry would not have been granted. While the government of Brazil relaxed its practice and authorized both accepting induction into foreign Orders and the wearing of foreign insignia, it lacked any decorations with which to reciprocate the Belgian gesture. The National Order of the Southern Cross was intended as an Order that would fill that gap. Today, accepting foreign honours and insignia without the need of prior Government approval is allowed, and several Brazilian Orders have been established to which Brazilians may be admitted, starting with the National Order of Merit (Ordem Nacional do Mérito), created in 1946. Even so, the governing statutes of the National Order of the Southern Cross have never been reformed, and it thus remains unavailable to Brazilians. Paradoxically, therefore, the Order's Grand Master — the sitting President of the Republic — is never a member of the Order he or she oversees, and the President's connection with the Order is severed once the President leaves office.
The Decree that re-created the Order (Decree 22.165, signed by Vargas on 5 December 1932) does not mention the creation of a new Order, but the reestablishment of the old Order of the Southern Cross, that had been "created upon the advent of the political independence of Brazil". This was done to improve the prestige of the Order by linking it with the past, that is, by associating it with an Order that had been created more than one century earlier.
In 1932, the republican version of the Order had the same five grades as the old imperial version. In 1939, by a statute issued on 17 July of that year, the additional grade of the Grand Collar was created. Until the creation of the Grand Collar, awards of which are restricted to Heads of State, the Grand Cross was the Order's highest rank.
Awards of, and promotions in, the National Order of the Southern Cross are made by decree of the President of the Republic, in his capacity as the Order's Grand Master. The decree of appointment or promotion is, like all presidential decrees, published in the Federal Government's Official Journal, and, as per the Order's regulations, the appointment or promotion is also recorded in a book kept by the Order's secretary.
The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations serves as the Chancellor of the Order, and an officer of the Ministry of Foreign Relations that heads the ceremonial and protocol division serves as the Secretary to the Order. The Order also has a Council, chaired by its Chancellor, that recommends awards and promotions.
- Grand Collar: the recipient wears the adorned "Grand Collar", a chain from which the badge of the order is suspended. The recipient is also allowed to combine the wearing of the Grand Collar with any of the following insignia, or with both: the "Star" of the Order (a plaque modelled after the badge of the Order, to be worn on the left breast); and the Sash of the Order, that is proper to those of Grand Cross rank (a light blue sash, to be worn on the right shoulder). Awards of the Grand Collar are restricted to foreign Heads of State.
- Grand Cross: the recipient wears the Sash of the Order, and the badge of the Order hangs from the bottom part of that sash (given that the sash is worn on the right shoulder, the badge hangs close to the left leg, by the waist line). The recipient further wears the "star" of the Order, displayed on the left breast.
- Grand Officer: the recipient wears the badge of the Order around the neck suspended from a blue ribbon necklet, and the star of the order is displayed on the left breast.
- Commander: the recipient wears the badge of the order around the neck, suspended from a blue ribbon necklet.
- Officer: the recipient wears the badge of the Order on left breast suspended from a ribbon with a rosette.
- Knight: the recipient wears the badge of the Order on the left breast suspended from a simple ribbon.
- 2017 – Mauricio Macri (President of Argentina)
- 2016 – Rosen Plevneliev (President of Bulgaria)
- 2015 – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (President of Argentina)
- 2015 – Enrique Peña Nieto (President of Mexico)
- 2014 – Julio de Vido (Minister of Federal Planning, Services and Public Investment of Argentina)
- 2013 – José Antonio Abreu (pianist)
- 2011 – Georgi Parvanov (President of Bulgaria)
- 2011 – María Ángela Holguín (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia)
- 2010 – Bashar al-Assad (President of Syria)
- 2010 – Michel Suleiman (President of Lebanon)
- 2009 – Nicolas Sarkozy (President of France)
- 2009 – Arturo Valenzuela (Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs)
- 2007 – Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Prime Minister of Denmark)
- 2007 – Carl XVI Gustaf (King of Sweden)
- 2007 – Silvia Sommerlath (Queen consort of Sweden)
- 2007 – Henri (Grand Duke of Luxembourg)
- 2007 – Maria Teresa (Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg)
- 2006 – Jacques Diouf (diplomat)
- 2004 – James Sherwood (founder of Venice-Simplon Orient Express)
- 2003 – Beatrix (Queen of the Netherlands)
- 2003 – Harald V (King of Norway)
- 2003 – Sonja Haraldsen (Queen consort of Norway)
- 2003 – Yasuo Tanaka (governor of Nagano)
- 2003 – Ann Hartness (scholar)
- 2002 – Ismael Crespo (Professor at the University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain)
- 2002 – Aleksander Kwaśniewski (President of Poland)
- 1999 – Alberto Fujimori (Peruvian president)
- 1999 – Albert Fishlow (professor)
- 1999 – Giovanni Sartori (political scientist)
- 1998 – Ricardo Salgado (President and founder of Banco Espírito Santo)
- 1996 – António Guterres (Prime Minister of Portugal)
- 1996 – Stephan Schmidheiny (entrepreneur)
- 1991 – Juan Carlos I (King of Spain)
- 1990 – Václav Havel (President of the Czech Republic)
- 1987 – Mário Soares (President of Portugal)
- 1975 – Nicolae Ceausescu (Romanian president)
- 1974 – Margrethe II (Queen of Denmark)
- 1968 – Elizabeth II (Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms)
- 1965 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran)
- 1964 – Charles de Gaulle (President of France)
- 1964 – Felix Grant (radio presenter)
- 1963 – Blaže Koneski (President of the Association of Yugoslav Writers)
- 1963 – Ivan Rukavina (Vice-Minister of Defense of Yugoslavia)
- 1963 – Josip Broz Tito (President of Yugoslavia)
- 1961 – Che Guevara (revolutionary)
- 1958 – Haile Selassie (Emperor of Ethiopia)
- 1956 – David Rockefeller (banker) 
- 1956 – Sukarno (Precursor of Asian-African Conference, President of Indonesia)
- 1954 – Dwight D. Eisenhower (Supreme Commander WWII, President of the United States)
- 1952 – Helen Keller (activist)
- 1946 – Nelson Rockefeller (as Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs)
- 1944 – Chiang Kai-shek (Chairman of the National Government of China)
- 1944 – Ira C. Eaker (general of the United States Army Air Forces)
- 1944 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Naval officer)
- 1940 – Eleazar López Contreras (President of Venezuela)
- 1940 – Robert B. Williams (pilot)
- 1935 – Jean Batten (aviator)
- 1933 – Edward VIII (King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India)
- 1884 – Nicholas II (Emperor of Russia)
- 1876 – José Paranhos, Baron of Rio Branco (Diplomat)
- 1870 – José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco (Prime Minister of Brazil)
- 1870 – Deodoro da Fonseca (as Major of the Brazilian Army)
- 1867 – Prince Alfred (Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha)
- 1866 – Alexander III (Emperor of Russia)
- 1865 – Maximilian I (Emperor of Mexico)
- 1852 – Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (President of Argentina)
- 1848 – Isabella II (Queen of Spain)
- 1841 – Duke of Caxias (Marshal of the Army)
- 1830 – Francis II (Holy Roman Emperor and Emperor of Austria)
- 1830 – Domingos Sequeira (artist)
- 1826 – Maria II (Queen of Portugal and the Algarves)
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- White, William. Notes and queries, Volume 78. London: 1888, p. 173.
- Even the short-lived republican Ordem de Colombo (Order of Columbus) that had been established by the Provisional Government of the Republic as a replacement to the Imperial Orders, was abolished when Congress promulgated Brazil's first republican Constitution on 24 February 1891, declaring all Orders abolished and stating that the Republic would maintain no Orders. Only after the 1891 Constitution had ceased to operate due to the 1930 Revolution was a republican honours system created, beginning with the recreation of the Order of the Southern Cross in 1932.
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