Neck order

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A neck order is a type of decoration which is designed to be worn and displayed around a person's neck, rather than hung (draped) from the chest as is the standard practice for displaying most decorations.

Most of the insignia of orders are issued in several degrees which typically include a neck order version for Commanders and Grand Officers. In countries which do not typically bestow orders with degrees, neck orders are still usually considered to be high-ranking decorations.

In the Middle Ages most orders were worn on a collar – see livery collar. Later, in the 17th century the insignia were worn hanging from a ribbon around the neck. When, in the late 18th century, orders were divided into several classes, the cross on a ribbon around the neck became the privilege of a commander. A decoration in that rank is usually awarded to high-ranking officials like brigadiers, consuls and secretaries of State.

A female usually wears her commander's cross on a bow on the shoulder of her dress.

In chivalric orders like the Order of Malta or the German Order the insignia of the knights is worn hanging from a ribbon around the neck. The same is true of the Order of the Golden Fleece.[1]

In the 19th century it was not unusual to wear a Grand Cross, normally hanging from a ribbon over the shoulder to the hip as a neck order when this was considered more convenient or when another Grand Cross was worn.

Select list of collar insignia

A number of nations confer honors which are signified in the form of an insignia on a collar or chain, including:

Select list of badges suspended from neck riband

The Medal of Honor of the United States is worn hanging from a light blue neckband ribbon.
French World War I general fr (Maurice de Barescut), wearing the insignia of a Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour.

Some nations confer honors which are signified in the form of a badge which is worn suspended from a ribbon (also known as riband or ribband) around the neck, including:

See also


  1. "Orders medals and decorations of Britain and Europe", Paul Hieronymussen, London 1967
  2. Debrett's: Order of the British Empire
  3. McCreery, Christopher. (2005). The Order of Canada: Its Origins, History and Development, p. 118.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 Decorations of HM King Harald. May 28, 2008.
  5. Order of Leopold, official website; n.b., Necklace of the Order is made out of gold and consists of three alternating parts : the crown, the lion and the figure.
  6. Japan, Cabinet Office: Decorations and Medals; Order of the Chrysanthemum
  7. 7.0 7.1 Estonia, Office of the President: Toomas Hendrik Ilves
  8. Chancery of the President of Estonia: Vaira Vike-Freiberga
  9. Chancery of the President of Latvia: Vaira Vike-Freiberga
  10. 10.0 10.1 Royal Ark
  11. Sweden, Royal Court: Order of the Seraphim
  12. 12.0 12.1 [1]
  13. British Orders and Decorations, p. 40.
  14. The Collar/Sash of the order at the Orders Chancellary website
  15. Légion d'honneur: Ordres et décorations, official website
  16. Military Order of William, official website; Grand Cross, worn without ribbon on the left breast or around the neck on a 55 millimetre wide ribbon, or as a sash.
  17. Order of the Netherlands Lion, official website; Commander, hangs from the ribbon, which is worn by men around the neck
  18. Order of Orange Nassau, official website; Grand Officer, hanging from the ribbon, which is worn by men around the neck
  19. Pour le Mérite; n.b., 1667, cross was worn around the neck from a long black, "watered ribbon"
  20. Medal of Honor, official website
  21. Legion of Merit Medal Ribbon; n.b., The Legion of Merit is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order (the other being the Medal of Honor), and the only United States decoration which may be issued in award degrees (much like an Order of chivalry or certain Orders of Merit).


External links