ORDER OF THE REDEEMER
Decree of 20 May 1833 (Off. Gaz. 19, issue A, dated 20 Jan. 1833)
The Order of the Redeemer is the most important Greek Order. Its establishment was decided upon in 1829, the final year of the Revolution, by the Fourth Greek National Assembly in Argos. The first recipient of the Grand Cross of the Order was King Ludwig I of Bavaria, the father of King Otto, in 1833.
This Order was for about 80 years the only Greek Order. The name and form of the insignia were chosen as a reminder that it was with the Lord’s help and support the Greek nation was liberated.
The form of the insignia has altered in several respects in the 170 years since the establishment of the Order. Currently, the insignia consists of a white enamelled cross, set on a wreath, one half of which is an oak branch and the other half a laurel branch. In the centre of the cross there is a picture of the Redeemer, also made of enamel and surrounded by the inscription: “IN YOUR RIGHT HAND, LORD, THE POWER AND THE GLORY”. The reverse carries the inscription: “THE 4th NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE HELLENES AT ARGOS – 1829″.
The stars of the Grand Cross and the Grand Commander have eight radiating points and in the centre is a picture of the Redeemer. The first stars were embroidered. Later, stars made of silver prevailed, as is the case today. The ribbon accompanying the insignia of the Order is light blue with a narrow white border on both edges.
Like the other Greek Orders, the Order of the Redeemer consists of five classes: the Grand Cross, the Grand Commander, the Commander, the Gold and Silver Cross.
According to the relevant law, the Order of the Redeemer is awarded to Greek citizens who have distinguished themselves in defending the interests of their country or have rendered exceptional social services in Greece or abroad. In practice, the Grand Cross is awarded only to the leaders of foreign countries.