- Order of the Dannebrog
Order of the Dannebrog
Order of the Dannebrog, Breast Star with Grand Cross, unofficial model
Awarded by Denmark Type Chivalric order with six classes, one class augmentation, and one decoration Awarded for meritorious civil or military service, for a particular contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests Status Currently conferred Motto God and the King (Gud og Kongen) Post-nominals S.Kmd – Grand Commander (Storkommandør)
S.K. – Grand Cross (Storkors)
K1 – Commander 1st Class (Kommandør af 1. grad)
K – Commander (Kommandør)
R1 – Knight 1st Class (Ridder af 1. grad)
R – Knight (Ridder)
D.Ht. – Cross of Honour(Dannebrogordens Hæderstegn)
Statistics Established 1671 Precedence Next (higher) Order of the Elephant
Grand Commander with Diamonds
Commander 1st Class
Knight 1st Class
Cross of Honour
Ribbon bars of the order
The Order of the Dannebrog (Danish: Dannebrogordenen) is an Order of Denmark, instituted in 1671 by Christian V. It resulted from a move in 1660 to break the absolutism of the nobility. The Order was only to comprise 50 noble Knights in one class plus the Master of the Order, i.e. the Danish monarch, and his sons. In 1808, the Order was reformed and divided into four classes, with the ranks:
- Special class
- Grand Commander (Storkommandør) — wears the badge with diamonds on a necklet (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies), plus the star on the left chest;
- First Order class
- Grand Cross (Storkors) — wears the badge on a collar or on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest;
- Second Order class
- Commander 1st Class (Kommandør af 1. grad) — wears the breast cross on the left chest, plus (for gentlemen) the badge on a neck ribbon;
- Commander (Kommandør) — wears the badge on a neck ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies);
- Third Order class
- Knight 1st Class (Ridder af 1. grad) — wears the badge on a ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies) with rosette on the left chest;
- Knight (Ridder) — wears the badge on a ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies) on the left chest.
The Grand Cross can, as a special honor, be awarded "with diamonds". There is also a Cross of Honour (D.Ht.) (Dannebrogordens Hæderstegn).
The Grand Commander class is reserved to persons of princely origin. It is only awarded to Royals with close family ties with the Danish Royal House. The statute of the Order was amended in 1951 by a Royal Ordinance so that both men and women could be members of the Order.
Today, the Order of Dannebrog is a means of honouring and rewarding the faithful servants of the modern Danish state for meritorious civil or military service, for a particular contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests.
The badge of the Order is a white enamelled Dannebrog cross (i.e., a cross pattée, the lower arm being longer than the others) with a red enamelled border, for the Knights in silver and for everyone else in gold or silver gilt. At the top of this cross is the royal cypher of the bestowing monarch crowned with the distinctive Danish royal crown On its front, the cross bears the royal cyphers of Christian V at its centre, as well as the motto of the Order: Gud og Kongen (God and the King) on its arms. On its reverse are found the crowned royal cyphers of Valdemar II Sejr, Christian V and Frederik VI, as well as the years 1219, 1671 and 1808, the years that each of them ascended the Danish throne. In each of the four angles of the cross is found a small Danish royal crown.
The collar of the Order is made of gold, with small enamelled Dannebrog crosses alternating with alternating crowned royal cyphers representing Kings Valdemar II Sejr and Christian V, the reputed and actual founders of the Order. When the collar is worn the sash is not worn.
The star of the Order is an eight-pointed silver star with straight rays with an enamelled Dannebrog cross (similar to the front of the badge but without the royal cypher above and the royal crowns between the arms of the cross) at the centre.
The breast cross of the Order is similar to the cross on the star but larger and with faceted silver instead of white enamel and without the silver rays of the star.
The ribbon of the Order is white silk moiré with red borders, the national colours of Denmark.
The Order originally had a distinctive habit worn by the knights (after 1808, by the Knights Grand Cross) on very solemn occasions. The habit consisted of a white doublet, white breeches, white stockings and white shoes, over which was worn a red mantle with a white lining and with the star of the order embroidered in silver on its left side. Over this red mantle was worn a short white shoulder cape with a standing collar embroidered in gold, upon which was worn the collar of the Order (the habit was always worn with the collar and never with the ribbon of the Order). The habit also had a black hat with a plume of white and red ostrich feathers. This habit was almost identical to that worn by the knights of the Order of the Elephant.
Each Danish ministry has a quota of Knights and Knights 1st class that they may use at their discretion. It is most often given to high ranking officers of the police, armed forced and emergency services.
Also used for politicians in Folketinget after 8 years of elected service. Ministers are given the rank of Knight 1st Class.
The rank of Commander is given to Colonels, ministers and other high ranking officials as a retirement-decoration after long service.
Commander 1st class is given for Admirals, Generals, Supreme-court judges, ambassadors and other governmental leaders as a retirement decoration.
Grand Cross is most often used for admirals, generals, Supreme-court judges, ambassadors and similar as a reward for very meritorious service to Denmark.
Grand Cross with Breaststar with Diamonds is most often given to high ranking officers of the Royal Court, such as Hofmarskals.
Finally, the Grand Commander grade is only given to 8 people. The reigning monarch is always a Grand Commander, and he/she may give the grade to 7 others - most often close family.
The Order of Dannebrog is often used as a tool of diplomacy.
If a foreign country has an Order that they give to foreign diplomats in their country, then their diplomats in Denmark can also be given an Order.
It is sort of a "an eye for an eye" concept - If the Danish Ambassador in for example Germany gets an order after X years of service, then the German Ambassador in Denmark gets the Order of Dannebrog.
To be eligible the Ambassador must reside in Denmark and must have been here for at least 3 years.
Diplomatic use Diplomatic Rank Rank of the Order Ambassador Storkors Chargés d Affairs e.p. Kommandør (Kommandør 1. Grad, if over 40 years of age) Chargés d Affairs a.i. Kommandør or Ridder 1. Grad Ambassador Advisor Kommandør 1st Embassy Secretary Ridder 1. Grad 2nd or 3rd Embassy Secretary Ridder Defence Attachés Depending on military rank Other Attachés Ridder or Kommandør depending on merit
Cross of Honour
The Dannebrogordenens Hæderstegn (Cross of Honour of the Order of the Dannebrog) in modern times is only awarded to Danes on whom the Order of the Dannebrog has already been bestowed. It is also worn by the individual members of the royal family. Its badge is similar to the badge of the Order, but all in silver, and is worn on a ribbon (gentlemen) or bow (ladies) with rosette on the left chest.
The insignia of the Order must be returned upon the death of the holder.
- HM Constantine II, King of the Hellenes (1964)
- HRH Henrik, Prince Consort of Denmark (1974)
- HM Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden (1975)
- HM Harald V, King of Norway (1991)
- HRH Benedikte, Princess of Denmark (1993)
- HRH Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark (2004)
- HRH Joachim, Prince of Denmark (2004)
Besides the above 7, HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is also a Grand Commander.
Jewelers and Goldsmiths
Below is a list of Jewelers who have made the insignia for the Order:
Jeweler Period Royal Goldsmith Poul Kurtz 1655-1679 Royal Goldsmith Ferdinand Küblich 1670-1687 Royal Goldsmith Fridrich Kurtz 1679-1703 Royal Goldsmith Pierre Tresfort 1687-1729 Royal Goldsmith Jean Henri de Moor 1688-1696 Royal Goldsmith Andreas Normand 1700-1727 Royal Jeweler Frederik Fabritius 1746-1778 Royal Jeweler Christopher Fabritius 1778-1829 Royal Jeweler Frederik Fabritius -1832 Royal Goldsmith Nicolai Christensen ? - 1832 Jeweler Poul Ressen Eggersen 1832-1841 Royal Jeweler Anton Michelsen 1848 -
Anton Michelsen was made a part of Royal Copenhagen A/S who is now the supplier.
- ^ Official website of the Danish monarchy De kongelige ridderordener (Danish)
- ^ These 50 knights were often called the 'White Knights'--with reference to the order's white ribbon--as opposed to the 'Blue Knights'--the 30 knights of the more senior Order of the Elephant. The knights of both of the Danish orders had virtually identical red and white uniforms.
- ^ On this badge table cut diamonds entirely replace the white enamel of the cross and smaller diamonds completely cover the royal crowns in the angles of this cross, the royal cypher of the current monarch and its royal crown at the top of this cross as well as the connecting link by which this badge hangs from its ribbon. Only the red enamel border which surrounds the table cut diamond cross of the badge is not set with diamonds.
- ^ This royal crown is usually flat and of one piece with the badge itself, although some crowns, especially in badges made in the 19th century and early 20th centuries, are three dimension with the badge proper suspended from them.
- ^ Valdemar II is the Danish king associated with the legendary origins of the Dannebrog and the reputed first founder of the Order, Christian V is the founder of the present Order and Frederik VI reformed the Order, dividing it into its present six classes
- ^ I.e., at Danish Coronations.
- ^ I.e., fourteen table cut diamonds are set on the white enamel of the cross of the Order which in this case has no royal ciphers, dates nor motto.
- Database over Danish Medals, Including Dannebrogordenen
- The Collection of Henrik Revens Website features orders and medals of Denmark as well as other Nordic countries.
- Official website of the Danish Monarchy including an English version. See official photographs showing blue sash of Order of the Elephant.
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