Service ribbon

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
(Redirected from Ribbon bar)
Jump to: navigation, search
A purple service ribbon with thin white edges
The purple heart medal with a purple suspension ribbon edged in white and a heart-shaped medal depicting the profile and coat of arms of George Washington
The Purple Heart with the corresponding service ribbon (top).

Service ribbons or ribbon bars are small ribbons mounted on small metal bars equipped with attaching devices, and are generally issued for wear in place of medals.[1] Each country's government has its own rules on what ribbons can be worn in what circumstances, and in which order. This is usually defined in an official document and is called "the order of precedence" and/or "the order of wearing". In some countries, (particularly the U.S.), some awards are "ribbon only", having no associated medal.


The service ribbon for a specific medal is usually identical to the suspension ribbon on the medal. For example, the suspension and service ribbon (U.S. standard size, 1¼ inches by ⅜ inches) for the U.S. government's Purple Heart medal is purple with a white vertical stripe at each end (see Photo).

However, there are some military awards that do not have a suspension ribbon, but have an authorized ribbon and unit award emblem. The Soviet Order of Victory is a badge that was worn on the military parade uniform. However, a ribbon bar representing the Order of Victory was worn on a military field uniform.


There is a variety of constructions of service ribbons. In some countries, service ribbons are mounted on a "pin backing", which can be pushed through the fabric of a uniform and secured, with fasteners, on the inside edge. These ribbons can be individually secured and then lined up, or they can be all mounted on to a single fastener. After the Second World War, it was common for all ribbons to be mounted on a single metal bar and worn in a manner similar to a brooch. Other methods of wearing have included physically sewing each service ribbon onto the uniform garments.


"Orders of wearing" define which ribbons may be worn on which types of uniform in which positions under which circumstances. For example, miniature medals on dinner dress, full medals on parade dress, ribbons on dress shirts, but no decorations on combat dress and working clothing. Some countries (such as Cuba) maintain a standard practice of wearing full service ribbons on combat utility clothing. Others strictly prohibit this. These regulations are generally similar to the regulations regarding display of rank insignia, and regulations regarding saluting of more senior ranks. The reasoning for such regulations is due to these displays enable opposing forces to easily identify persons of higher ranking, and therefor aiding them in choosing targets which will have a larger impact on the battlefield. In times of war, it is not uncommon for commanders and other high value individuals to wear no markings on their uniforms, and wear clothing and insignia of a lower ranking soldier.

Service medals and ribbons are generally worn in rows on the left side of the chest. In certain commemorative and/ or memorial circumstances, a relative may wear the medals or ribbons of a dead relative on the right side of the chest. Medals and ribbons not specifically mentioned in the "Order of wear" are also generally worn on the right side of the chest. Sequencing of the ribbons depends on each country's regulations. In the United States, for example, those with the highest status– typically awarded for heroism or distinguished service– are placed at the top of the display, while foreign decorations (when allowed) are last in the bottom rows.


The study, history and collection of ribbons, among other military decorations, is known as phaleristics (sometimes spelled faleristics by users of U.S. English).

Notable examples


Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Korea Medal.svg
United Nations Service Medal for Korea ribbon.png General Service Medal 1962 BAR.svg Vietnam Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png
Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png
90px National Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png 90px
90px Distinguished Service Cross ribbon.svg Silver Star ribbon.svg Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star (South Vietnam).png
Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png 90px 90px Pingat Jasa Malaysia ribbon.png
OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Order of Australia (Military) ribbon.png
Military Cross ribbon.png Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 ribbon.png Vietnam Medal ribbon.png
Australian Active Service Medal ribbon.png INTERFET Medal ribbon.png Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 ribbon.png Centenary Medal (Australia) ribbon.png
DFSM with Fed Star.png National Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Australian Defence Medal (Australia) ribbon.png Vietnam Campaign Medal ribbon.png
New Zealand Order of Merit ribbon.png US Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png Tong-il Medal (South Korea) ribbon.png Legion Honneur Officier ribbon.svg
PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Cross BAR.png Darjah Utama Bakti Cemerlang (Tentera) ribbon.png Order of Timor-Leste.png Order of St. Gregory the Great.png


中国人民解放军一级八一勋章的略章.png 中国人民解放军一级独立自由勋章的略章.png 中国人民解放军一级解放勋章的略章.PNG


DNK Order of Danebrog Grand Cross BAR.png 90pxRESOFF ASS R.png
DKFredsprismedalje Ribbon.pngOrdre national du Merite GO ribbon.svgEST Order of the Cross of the Eagle 1st Class BAR.pngUS Legion of Merit Commander ribbon.png
90pxUNFICYP Medal bar.svgONZ Medal w Służbie Pokoju UNPROFOR BAR.svgVierdaagse Medal Bar.png



Nazi Germany

DEU EK 2Kl 1939Clasp BAR.svg D-PRU Royal Hohenzollern Order swords war-ribbon BAR.svg Allgemeines Ehrenzeichen (Hesse) - ribbon bar.png Friedrich-August Cross - military (Oldenburg) - ribbon bar.png D-SAX Sachsen-Ernestinischer Hausorden BAR.svg 90px AUT KuK Kriegsbande BAR.svg DEU Ehrenkreuz des Weltkrieges Frontkaempfer BAR.svg

D-HAN-B-Order Henry Lion BAR.png 90px 90px 90px


Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma (incomplete)

Order of the Garter UK ribbon.png Order of the Bath UK ribbon.png Order of Merit (Commonwealth realms) ribbon.png Ord.Stella.India.jpg

Order of the Indian Empire Ribbon.svg 90px Dso-ribbon.png VOStJ ribbon.png

British War Medal BAR.svg World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg 39-45 Star BAR.svg 90px

Africa Star BAR.svg Burma Star BAR.svg Italy Star BAR.svg Defence Medal BAR.svg

War Medal 39-45 BAR.svg Naval General Service Medal 1915 BAR.svg King George V Coronation Medal ribbon.png GeorgeVSilverJubileum-ribbon.png

GeorgeVICoronationRibbon.png ElizabethIICoronationRibbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Indian Independence medal 1947.svg

Distinguished Service Medal ribbon.svg US Legion of Merit Chief Commander ribbon.png Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg Greek War Cross 1940 3rd class ribbon.png

90px Bronze Star ribbon.svg Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 ribbon.svg

Order of the Cloud and Banner 1st.gif PRT Military Order of Aviz - Grand Cross BAR.png Ord.Neth.Lion.jpg Most Refulgent Order of the Star of Nepal.PNG

POL Polonia Restituta Kawalerski BAR.svg DNK Order of Danebrog Grand Cross BAR.png Star of Romania Ribbon.PNG ESP Isabella Catholic Order GC.svg


File:Marcinko ribbon bar.png


See also


  1. US Army Regulation 600-8-22, 2006, P. 72&73, 6--2 Service ribbons, a.

External links