AND DECORATIONS OF POLAND
Republic of Poland since 1990
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(Odznaka "Zasluzony Dzialacz Ligi Przyjaciol Zolnierza")
Instituted by the Presidium of the League's Main Board in 1956. Conferred for merit to the League, originally in a single class (gold), extended to three (gold, silver and bronze) in 1959.
Badge 1956: 43 x 45 mm, in the form of a dark blue enameled triangle, pointed downwards, with a white and red horizontal stripe and surmounted by a stylized, white enameled eagle. Superimposed is the League's emblem - an anchor with a crossed rifle and propeller, circumscribed ZASLUZONY : DZIALACZ LPZ. An openwork gold laurel wreath is superimposed on the triangle. The reverse has a mounting screw.
Badge 1959: as above but reduced in size (19 x 20 mm), the wreath and other metal parts being gilt, silver or bronze, depending on the class.
Ribbon (unofficial): 30 mm, dark blue with with a half white half red central stripe.
Instituted in 1980 by the Main Board of the Country Defense League, conferred for the first time in 1992. It was the highest League award until the Decoration for Outstanding Merit to Country Defense League was established.
Badge: of oxydized white metal, 23 x 24 mm, in the form of a semicircular shield with the organization emblem - an uncrowned eagle with the letters LOK at the bottom; below there is a band with the words CZLONEK HONOROWY (honorary member) and two laurel sprays on both sides. The badge is attached to clothes with the pin.
Instituted on May 22, 1997 by the Main Board of the Country Defense League as the highest decoration of the organization. Conferred in a single grade for the individuals who have distinguished themselves in their activities for development and work of the League. It is conferred solely by the decoration chapter and can be awarded up to three times.
Badge: dark blue enameled Greek cross, 40 x 40 mm, with double inset bases and with gilt rays between its arms. Medallion: silver stylized uncrowned eagle with the letters LOK at the bottom on red background; white enemeled ring bears the inscription ZA WYBITNE ZASLUGI DLA LIGI OBRONY KRAJU (for outstanding merit to Country Defense League) The reverse is plain.
Ribbon: 36 mm, half white half red, with a blue central stripe, narrow red side stripe on the left, and narrow white side stripe on the right. Each subsequent award is denoted by a gilt bar on the ribbon.
Instituted in April 1993 by the Main Board of the Country Defense League, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the organization in 1994. Conferred to the League members for long and efficient work in the organization.
Badge: 46 mm of diameter, composed of two dark blue enameled crosses - a Greek cross with double inset bases, and a Maltese one, rotated 45°. The Greek cross has the inscription ZA : ZASLUGI (for merit) on the vertical, and TPZ (Towarzystwo Przyjaciol Zolnierza - Soldier's Friends Society) : LPZ (Liga Przyjaciol Zolnierza - Soldier's Friends League) on the horizontal ones, while the Maltese cross has the years 1944 : 1994 on the lower arms. Medallion: semicircular with a silver uncrowned eagle with the letters LOK on red background. The reverse is plain with the award number on the lower arm.
Ribbon: 36 mm, half white half red, with a blue central stripe and yellow gold edges.
Instituted in 1979 by the Main Board of the Country Defense League, on the 35th anniversary of the organization. It is conferred in three graded to both members and non-members for merit to the League.
Badge: gilt, silver or bronze medal, 30 mm of diameter. Obverse: the image of the Meritorious Member of Country Defense League Decoration (2nd type) with altered inscription, which reads ZA ZASLUGI : DLA LIGI OBRONY KRAJU. Reverse:semicircular shield with the four line inscription SPOLECZNY / TRUD - / OBRONNOSCI / KRAJU (collective work for country defense) with the crossed laurel and oak sprays below.
Ribbon: 34 mm, half white half red, with a blue central stripe.
Note: when awarded as a collective award, the medal is in one class only and has the form of a slilver table medal, 60 mm of diameter.
Instituted in 1962, altered in 1969. Conferred in three grades to both individuals, branches and organizations, for metit to the League. Since 1993 only the upper grade (gold) has been awarded.
Badge 1962: gilt, silver or bronze semicircular shield with an uncrowned eagle with the letters LOK, and with two laurel aprays at the bottom; at the top there is a half white half red enameled horizontal bar, with a blue central stripe. The badge has a pin for mounting.
Badge 1969: in two types - large (46 x 45 mm, conferred until 1974), and small (22 x 20), gilt, silver or bronze five armed cross with rays between the arms. Medallion: oval with an uncrowned silver eagle with the letters LOK on red background; the white ring bears the inscription ZASLUZONY DZIALACZ (meritorious member). The badge has a pin for mounting.
Ribbon bar: 25 mm, half white half red, with a blue central stripe.
Instituted: on May 22, 1997 by the Main Board of the Country Defense League, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Reserve Officers' Clubs. Conferred in one grade to the clubs' members and non-members, for merit for the clubs. It can be conferred twice to the same individual.
Badge: silver medal, 35 mm of diameter. Obverse: the Reserve Officers' Clubs emblem - Greek cross with the letterr KOR on the vertical and LOK on the horizontal arms (the letter "O" is common), and with two pointed down crossed swords between the arms. Reverse: two line inscription ZA ZASLUGI (for merit) and an oak leaf below.
Ribbon: 35 mm, half white half red, with a blue central stripe and light green edges. The second award is denoted by a silver bar on the ribbon.
Instituted in 1974 by the Main Board of the Country Defense League, in one grade to honor members of the Reserve Officers' Clubs.
Badge: silver rectangular plate, 18 x 19 mm, with cut off corners. In the center there is the emblem of the Reserve Officers' Clubs emblem - Greek cross with the letterr KOR on the vertical and LOK on the horizontal arms (the letter "O" is common), and with two pointed down crossed swords between the arms. At the top and bottom there is the inscription ZASLUZONY / DZIALACZ on white background; on both sides there are stylized laurel spays. The reverse is plain. The plate suspends from the 18 x 6 mm enemeled bar, half white half red with a blue central stripe, and with a safety pin for mounting.
Ribbon bar: 25 mm, half white half red, with a blue central stripe.
An organization, established on May 29, 1918, originally as the Constitutional Association Committee of Self-Assistance of Former Participants of Legion Struggle (Komitet Konstytucyjny Stoe´warzyszenia Wzajemnej Pomocy bylym Uczestnikom Walk Legionowych). In 1919 the organization was renamed to the Association of Former Legionnaires (Stowarzyszenie bylych Legionistow), and in 1936 to its present name. The objectives of the Association were organizing jubilee celebrations, organize meetings of former legionnaires of the Polish Legions and aid them financially. During WWII the organization worked in conspiracy, giving aid to the families of former legionnaires. The organization that has never been officially dissolved, operated continually in semi-conspiracy througout the communist era. With the decreasing number of former legionnaires, the Association objective is now to popularize the history of the Polish Legions and secure the dodumentation and other memories of them. The Association is situated in Cracow.
(Order Virtuti Civili)
Instituted in 1792 as a two grade (gold and silver) medal by king Stanislas Augustus, but due to the partition of Poland was never conferred. Restored in 1969 as the top honour of the organization, awarded exclusively to the most eminent Polish citizens, dead or living), who distinguished themselves by their life and work for Poland and the Polish Nation. Conferred in two classes: 1st Class is a neck decorstion, 2nd Class is worn on the brest on the ribbon. The order's motto is: DIGNITAS SCUTUM LIBERORUM HOMINUM (dignity is the shield of free people). So far the 1st class of the order has been conferred to four people only: Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), Marshal Jozef Pilsudski (awarded posthumously), Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly (awarded posthumously), Rev. Stefan Wyszynski, cardinal and Primate of Poland. The 2nd Class has been conferred to about 70 people.
Badge: gold cross pattée 38 x 38 mm, with concave arm sides and bases and ball finials (similar to the Order Virtuti Militari). The arms are covered with dark blue enamel. Medallion: oval with the two line inscription VIRTUTI / CIVILI (for civilian virtue - just like the original 1792 medal), surrounded by an open laurel wreath. Reverse: non-enameled, with the cipher LJP (Legiony Jozefa Pilsudskiego - Jozef Pilsudski's Legions) on the upper and lateral arms respectively. On the upper arm there is the award number. In the medallion there is the so called Legion eagle - the Polish eagle sitting on the Amazons' shield with the letter "S" (Strzelcy - the rifles) in the middle. The 1st Class cross is surmounted by a stylized Polish eagle with spread wings, with a ring for the ribbon.
Ribbon 1969: light blue with broad dark blue side stripes and black edges. Ribbon 1992: royal blue with broad black stripes (the colors of the Virtuti Militari), with two red pinstripes each (colors of the Independence Cross).
Instituted on December 5, 1992 by an order of Col. (ret.) Stefan Migdal - Chief Commandant of the Association, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the organization. They are conferred as a sign of the highest appreciation to the military and civilians for their struggle and work for the ideas of independence along with the motto: Salus Reipublicae Suprema Lex (good of the Republic the supreme law). Those who rendered exceptional merit to the cause of independence, being prosecuted for that are eligible for the cross with swords.
Cross: silver oxidized cross pattée, 40 x 40 mm, identical to the Legion Cross, with the years 1914 : 1918 on the horizontal arms, and the letters L : (Legiony Polskie - Polish Legions) on the vertical ones. Medallion: letters JP (Jozef Pilsudski) in a closed massive oak wreath. The reverse bears the inscription ZOLNIERZOM NIEPODLEGLOSCI (to the soldiers of independence) along the horizontal arms, with the word HONOR above and OJCZYZNA (country) below. On the upper arm there is an additional three line inscription ZLP / 30 V / 1918 (the date of foundation). Crossed silver swords (similar to those of the Independence Cross) are mounted above the cross.
Medal: silver, oxidized, 35 mm of diameter, depicting the obverse and reverse of the cross.
Ribbon: 38 mm, originally half white half red with narrow blue (inner) and black (outer) edges; since 1993 - black with red side stripes (the colors of the Independence Cross), with a blue band with narrow black side stripes (colors of the Order Virtuti Militari).
(Medal Zaslugi Zwiazku Legionistow Polskich)
Instituted on May 30, 1995 by personal order of the Chief Commandant of the Association. It is conferred in one grade (bronze) the members of the Association who distinguished themselves in the work for the organization. In exceptional cases it can be awarded to non-members as well. It can be awarded up to four times to the same individual.
Badge: bronze medal, 35 mm of diameter. Obverse: the head of Marshal Pilsudski, circumscribed by the Latin motto: SALUS REIPUBLICAE SUPREMA LEX (good of the Republic the supreme law). Reverse: the Legion Cross, surrounded by the inscription ZWIAZEK LEGIONISTOW POLSKICH : 30 MAJA 1918 (the date of foundation).
Ribbon 35 mm, blueish gray (the color of the Legion uniforms) with a black central stripe with red pinstripes (the colors of the Independence Cross).
(Odznaka honorowa za Zaslugi)
Instituted by decision of the 4th Congress of the Presidium of the Association of Former Professional Military of October 25, 1984 and amended in 1999. Conferred in one class to members and non-members who rendered merit to the Association. It can be conferred to military units and institutions.
Badge 1984: golden plaque, 36 x 37 mm, depicting the emblem of the organization - a stylized uncrowned eagle sitting on a bar inscribed ZBZZ, surrounded by two laurel sprays. Reverse: blank.
Badge 1999: silver plaque, 35 x 35 mm, with a shield depicting an uncrowned eagle sitting on a bar inscribed ZBZZ / i OR WP, surrounded by two laurel sprays. Reverse: a seven-line inscription ZWIAZEK / BYLYCH ZOLNIERZY / ZAWODOWYCH / I / OFICEROW REZERWY / WOJSKA / POLSKIEGO with a laurel leaf below.
Suspension: 1984 - gilt bar 34 x 11 mm, inscribed ZA ZASLUGI / DLA / ZWIAZKU BYLYCH / ZOLNIERZY ZAWODOWYCH (for merit to the Association of Former Professional Military); 1999 - silver bar 35 x 10 mm, inscribed ZA / ZASLUGI (for merit). The reverse has a mounting pin.
(Medal za Zaslugi dla Zwiazku Oficerow Rezerwy RP im. Jozefa Pilsudskiego)
Instituted on April 2, 1997. Conferred in two classes (gold and silver) to both members and non-members for cultivating patriotic traditions of the Polish Armed Forces.
Badge: round medal, 35 mm in diameter. Obverse: the emblem of the Association surrounded by a ring inscribed ZA ZASLUGI DLA ZWIAZKU OFICEROW REZERWY RP IM. JOZEFA PILSUDSKIEGO. Reverse: stylized five-line inscription "Strzec / godnosci / oficera / RP" (to protect the honor of an officer of the Republic). Above there is a semicircular motto BOG-HONOR-OJCZYZNA (God-honor-country); below there is the shield of Amazons with the years 1921 / 1928 / 1991 upon it.
Ribbon: 34 mm, dark blue with a crimson central stripe, flanked by narrower white stripes, and with white edges.
Established in 1867 in Lwow. Formally an educational and sporting organization of scouting character, it soon became a patriotic one whose real objective was to prepare military cadres in case of a conflict which would allow regaining independence by Poland. The organization had branches in Russia (illegal), Prussia and USA. Many members of the organization then joned the armed forces of Independent Poland. The Society continued work after WWI as well. In 1939 it was banned by the German and Soviet occupants. It did not exist in People's Poland. Reestablished in 1989.
(Odznaczenie "Znak Sokola")
Instituted by organization's Congress on August 25, 1994. Conferred in three classes (gold, silver and bronze) by the organization's chapter for merit to the country and efficient work for the organizations. It can also be awarded to oranizational banners.
Badge: cross pattée, 42 x 42 mm, with concave arms, enameled blue with red edges. There is a gilt, silver or bronze falcon, depending on the class, with spread wings superimposed on the center. The reverse is blank with a serial number.
Ribbon: 38 mm, crimson with a white central stripe and white edges.
(Medal "Opiekun Miejsc Pamieci Narodowej")
(Odznaka "Opiekun Miejsc Pamieci Narodowej")
Instituted by the chair of the Committee for Safeguarding National Monuments (Rada Ochrony Pomnikow Walki i Meczenstwa) on July 15, 1976. Conferred in two grades (gold and silver) with a gold or sliver honorary Decoration as a lower grade. It is awarded to people, organizations and communities for merit in safeguarding and protection of monuments, battlefields, places, etc. of national importance, as well as for historical research concerning these places.
Medal badge: gilt or silver medal, 32 mm of diameter. Obverse: the symbol of the Council of Safeguarding National Monuments - a black enameled trapezium with two swords pointed down and a burning torch below. reverse: the inscription RADA / OCHRONY / PAMIECI WALK / I MECZENSTWA. (until 1988: RADA / OCHRONY / POMNIKOW / WALKI / I MECZEN- / STWA).
Decoration badge: the tapezium symbol of the organization with gold or silver swords, torch and edges. The reverse has a mounting screw.
Medal ribbon: red with five narrow white stripes in the center.