Robert E. Wyllie.

Orders, decorations and insignia, military and civil; with the history and romance of their origin and a full description of each online

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manner as those of the preceding orders. Recently the
Orders of the Rising Sun and of the Sacred Treasure were
opened to women, so both sexes are now on an equality
as to decorations in Japan.


When the Manchu dynasty was on the throne there were
a variety of decorations for the Chinese, such as the pea-
cock's feathers and the yellow jacket, and also one order
of the same general character as European orders, which
was conferred on foreigners. This was the Imperial Order
of the Double Dragon, instituted in 1882, but abolished
when the Republic was established. However, as several
Americans received it in connection with the Boxer
troubles a description is not out of place.


Sfifia anb America

It had five classes, the first three being subdivided into
three grades each. The badge of the first class was rec-
tangular, three inches by two and one-quarter inches, gold.
On it were two dragons rampant, in blue on a yellow ground,
and between the heads a precious stone to denote the sun.
The kind of stone indicated the grade in the class, a pearl for
the first grade, a ruby for the second and a coral for the third.
Down the centre between the dragons was an inscription
in Chinese characters, "The first class decoration of the
Ta-Ching dynasty." An ornamental border of blue and
gold surrounded the badge.

The badge of the lower classes was circular, more than
three inches in diameter, with decorated and indented
edge for all except the fifth class which had no indenta-
tions. In the centre of the badge was a precious stone for
the sun, and around it the two dragons. In the second
class the stone was a coral and the dragons were of silver
on a yellow ground; in the third class the stone was a
sapphire, the dragons being gold on green; in the fourth
class a lapis lazuli was the jewel, with silver dragons on
blue ; and in the fifth class a pearl, with green dragons on a
silver ground. The character of the indentations showed
the grade in the second and third classes. The ribbon
differed according to class and grade.

In 1 912 President Yuan-Shih-Kai established three
orders known as the White Eagle, Wen-Hu and Chah-Ho,
and in 191 5 the Order of Pao Kwang Chah-Ho.

The Order of the White Eagle and the Order of Wen-Hu
(striped tiger) are the military and naval orders, the White
Eagle being the senior. Each is divided into nine classes.


Classes one to foiir inclusive are given to general and flag
ofificers, field officers can receive classes three to six inclu-
sive, junior officers classes four to seven, and enlisted men
classes six to nine. The White Eagle is awarded to those
"who have rendered extraordinarily meritorious service,"
the Wen-Hu to those "who have performed deeds of
merit in the naval or military service." The badge is
worn by the first and second classes from a broad ribbon
over the left shoulder, with a star on the left breast. In
the third class the badge is worn at the neck and in lower
classes on the left breast. The size of the badges and some
of the details of the design differ with the class. The
badge of the White Eagle has a white eagle enamelled in
the centre. The Wen-Hu badge is light blue with a tiger
in natural colours on a central medallion from which
emanate rays in the five Chinese colours, edged with gold,
the whole being surmounted by a closed green wreath.
(Fig. 9, Plate i8). The five colours of the Chinese Repub-
lic are red, yellow, blue, white and black and represent
the five races which inhabit the country; red for the
Chinese proper, yellow for the Manchus, blue the
Mongols, white the Mahommedans and black the

The Order of Chah-Ho (golden grain) is generally given
for distinguished civil services, although it has been
awarded to the military also. It has the same number of
classes and the insignia are worn in the same way as in
the two preceding decorations. The badge is a white
enamelled medallion surrounded by white rays edged in
gold. On the medallion is a plant with ears of grain in


Foreign Medals

1. Military Merit (France)

2. Military Merit (Cuba)

3. Holv Ghost (France)

4. The Paulding Medal

5. Obilitch Medal (Montenegro)

6. Badge and Collar of the Tower and

Sword of Portugal

7. Military Merit (Poland)

Sisim anb America

the natural colours, surrounded by a green band having
small dots in the five Chinese colours.

The Order of Pao Kwang Chah-Ho (Precious light golden
grain) is a higher Chah-Ho and is very rarely conferred.


The Cuban Republic has the Order oj Military Merit
(Merito Militar) as a special reward for exceptional ser-
vices, established in February, 191 2, to take the place of a
previous decoration called the Medal of Merit, the holders
of which were authorized to exchange it for the new order.

The order is conferred on members of the armed forces,
including civilians connected therewith for deeds in action
exceptionally brave or of personal self-sacrifice; for the
capture of outlaws, bandits, etc. under circumstances
showing special perseverance, intelligence or bravery; for
special services at the imminent risk of life in calamities,
such as shipwreck, earthquakes, fires, etc. ; for works of
science, merit or utility for the armed forces deserving
special reward; for conspicuous administrative work; and
for long continuous service without blemish, twenty years
in the case of officers, sixteen for men.

There are four classes; the first for general officers, the
second for field officers, the third for junior officers and the
fourth for the men. There are no differences in the quali-
fications for these classes except the rank of the recipient.
That is the only criterion for determining the class to be

The badge of the first class is a large eight-pointed gold
star, on the centre of which is a wreath of laurel leaves in
^3 193

©rbetJEf, ©ecorations;, anb SnsJignia

green enamel. On the wreath is a cross, having in its
centre the monogram "M.M." in gold, surrounded by the
motto of the Order, "Honour, Virtue, Valour" in black
within a gold circle. The badge of the second class is the
same but of silver. For the third and fourth classes the
star is omitted, the third class being in silver, the fourth
in bronze. For the Navy an anchor is on the cross, and
the letters are "M.N." (Fig. 2, Plate 19). The badge
is worn by all classes on the left breast, suspended by a
ribbon which is red when awarded for feats of arms or
merit in war, blue for long service, and white for other
services. The cross of the badge is similarly enamelled,
red, blue or white as the case may be. A person who has
a badge of one of the three distinctive colours can be
awarded another of the same class in one or both of the
other two colours.

Except when awarded for long service all recommenda-
tions for this order must be made within sixty days of the
date of the act.

The Cubans also have some Red Cross medals and a ser-
vice medal for their War of Independence. Service ribbons
are worn set in a gold frame as illustrated on Plate 14.


In 1919 the Panamanian Government established a
decoration called the Medal oj ''La Solidaridad'' meaning
unity or united effort, as a reward "for distinguished
services rendered to the allied cause." In making the
awards those who contributed to the building of the Pana-
ma Canal were not overlooked. The obverse of the medal


Sls;ia anb America

shows a female figure writing on an altar the inscription
' ' Patria. La Fuerza del derecho" (Native Country. The
power of right) ; the left hand supporting a shield bearing
the arms of Panama. On the reverse are the arms again,
with a trophy of flags and the dates 1917-1918. There
are three classes ; the first is awarded only to commanding
generals of armies and equivalent positions, the second
to other general officers and occasionally to colonels, the
third to junior officers. The medal of the first class is of
gold and a rosette is placed on the ribbon, the other two
classes are in bronze, the second class having a rosette on
the ribbon. The service ribbon of the third class is plain,
a small rosette is placed on that of the second class, while
the service ribbon of the first class has a rosette and also a
bowknot of silver lace, similar to a Commander of the
Legion of Honour.


In its days as an independent kingdom, Hawaii had
several orders and decorations. These all lapsed when it
became united to this country, but one of our naval officers
was awarded the Order oj Kamehameha in the old days.
This order was established by King Kamehameha V in
1865 and contained three classes, Grand Cross, Commander
and Chevalier. The badge was a maltese cross with rays
between the arms. In the centre was the letter "K " sur-
rounded by ** Kamehameha," the whole being surmounted
by a crown. The ribbon for the first class was red with a nar-
row stripe of white at each edge. For the other two classes
it was of seven equal stripes, four red and three white.




FROM the remotest antiquity flags have been used
as symbols of nations and have been carried by
military forces in wars. The sentimental value
attached to these flags has resulted in the fiercest incidents
of battle and some of the most inspiring themes of prose
and poetry have been connected with their possession,
either the capture of an enemy flag or the defence of one's
own. From time immemorial the flag was carried in the
front line of battle, it led the attack and marked the rally-
ing point after a repulse. Defeats have been turned into
victories through the determination engendered by the
knowledge that the flag was in danger. Altogether it is
not extravagant to say that no one thing has contributed
so much to military prowess as the sight of the flag waving
in the midst of the encounter. But this is now a thing of
the past ; concealment has become so essential that nothing
can be permitted which will indicate the position to the
enemy. In olden days when fire was held until the whites
of the enemy's eyes were visible there was no object in
concealment. No art could have hidden the position
within the effective range of the weapons of the day, but
the increasing range of fire-arms has changed this. Mod-


Becoration ot tiie CoIout£^

em artillery merely needs information of the position to
annihilate it from almost inconceivable distances, and the
airplane is the eye which can see and report necessary data.
Camouflage is therefore the order of the day and the flag
is banished from the battlefield. However it is not en-
tirely discarded, there is too much inspirational value in
the nation's flag to abandon it completely. Troops are
still provided with them and each regiment carries its own
colours in all marches, reviews and parades, but upon
approaching the zone of active fighting they are carefully
deposited in a safe place well in the rear until the regiment
returns. The flags carried by dismounted troops are
termed colours, those used by mounted troops standards.
The only real difference between a colour and a standard
is the size, the standard being smaller in order that it can
be the better handled by a mounted man. The word
colour as used hereafter in this chapter will be understood
to include standard.

Just as individuals are decorated for services rendered,
so are the colours of an organization decorated to com-
memorate the deeds of the unit as a whole. Furthermore
the classification which applies to individuals, viz., personal
decorations for individually distinguished services and
service decorations bestowed generally on all who par-
ticipated in wars and campaigns, is also applicable to the

In the American and British armies each regiment and
other independent unit carries two colours, one being the
national flag, the other a flag distinctive of that particular
organization, called the regimental or organizational col-


©tbetflf, ©ecorationsf, anb 3n£{ignia

our. In France, Italy and Belgium only one colour is
carried, the national flag, but certain additions are made
to it so that it combines the functions of the national and
regimental colours in one.

Let us consider the British system first. Their regi-
mental colours follow no particular plan of design. Each
regiment has its own characteristic flag which is different
in nearly all particulars from any other. The names of
all the important battles in which the regiment has taken
part are embroidered on this flag. These are equivalent
to the service medals awarded to individuals. The British
have no decorations for the colours corresponding to per-
sonal decorations for specially distinguished services.

The illustration (Plate 20) shows the regimental colour
of the Coldstream Guards ; in the centre is the regimental
badge, the star of the Order of the Garter, and below it
the Sphinx, showing service in Egypt. The antiquity of
the regiment is indicated by the first battle on the colour,
*' Tangier, 1630."

The French regimental flag has the national tri-colour as a
foundation. On one side is the inscription * ' La Republique
Frangaise," with the designation of the regiment. In the
upper and lower corners next the staff are laurel wreaths
enclosing the regimental number. On the other side of
the flag is the inscription ''Honneur Patrie," and under it the
names of the four most important battles in which the
regiment participated. These again correspond to service
medals but the number is limited to four, while the British
make no limitation as to numbers.

But the French system does not end here. Attached


,a . i^gar^s



S^AFRICA 1812,

Regimental Colour of the Coldstream Guards

©ecotation of tfje Colours?

to the staff near the spearhead is the cravate, and when a
regiment is cited in orders for extraordinary services in
action the colours are decorated by attaching a Croix de
Guerre to this cravate. The cross of the Legion of Honour
is used instead when it is desired to show exceptional
honour to the regiment. Here we have a decoration of the
colours in a manner paralleHng the award of a personal
decoration to an individual, nor is this all. When a regi-
mental colour has been decorated twice a fourraghe in the
colours of the Croix de Guerre (green and red) is authorized
as a part of the uniform of the organization, to be worn by
every man who belongs to it. The fourragere is a cord
attached to the left shoulder encircling the arm, and hang-
ing from it is a ferret (pencil) of bronze. When the
colour is decorated four times the fourragere is changed to
one in the colours of the Medaille Militaire (yellow and
green) with silver ferrets, and after six decorations a four-
ragere in the colour of the Legion of Honour (scarlet) with
gold ferrets, is worn by every man in the organization.
When the flag has been decorated nine times a double
fourragere is worn, the green and red being combined with
the scarlet fourragere; for twelve such decorations the
yellow and green is combined with the scarlet and for
fifteen a double fourragere of scarlet is worn.

It should be clearly understood that the fourragere is
not a decoration of the individual but of the regiment ; it
is a part of the uniform authorized to commemorate the
heroic deeds of the organization, and a man actually wear-
ing it may never have been in any engagement as he may
have joined since the war was ended, nevertheless he wears


the fourragere as a part of his uniform. It is discarded
upon transfer to a regiment not entitled to the fourragere,
except that a man who participated in all the battles for
which the regiment was decorated is entitled to wear it
as long as he remains in the service, wherever he is assigned.
To entitle a regiment to a fourragere not only must it be
cited i n orders of the Army, in contradistinction to orders of a
corps or lower unit, but every unit of the regiment must
have participated in the actual fighting, one company in
reserve not called on during the engagement disqualifies
that particular citation from being considered. Further-
more the fourragere cannot be assumed by virtue of the
requisite number of citations ; it must be officially awarded
by the Minister of War, acting through the Commander-in
Chief of the French Army.

The illustration (Plate,2i) shows the cravate of the
flag of the regiment of colonial infantry of Morocco.
This organization was cited six times in orders of the
Army. The third citation was for the splendid attack
made by the regiment on Fort Douamont at Verdun in
1 91 6., when the French regained possession of that strong-
hold. For that action their colours were decorated with
the cross of the Legion of Honour, which can be seen on
the cravate the lowest of the decorations. For each of the
other five citations a Croix de Guerre with palm was
placed on the cravate. The illustration also shows an
additional Croix de Guerre at the top with five palms on
the ribbon, just as would be worn by an individual. It
will also be noted that the scarlet fourragere of the Legion
of Honour, which was awarded to the regiment for its


The decorated cravate of a French regimental colour

Siecotation of ti)t Colour)^

six citations, is placed on the cravate; this is customary
with all awards of the fourragere.

The Fort Douamont citation of this regiment is interest-

On the 24th October, 191 6, re-inf creed by the 43d battalion
of Senegalese and by two companies of Somalis, it carried with
wonderful elan the first German trenches, and continued under
the energetic command of Lieutenant-Colonel Regnier to break
the successive resistances of the enemy to a depth of two kilo-
metres, inscribing a glorious page in its history by taking pos-
session of Fort Douamont in an irresistible assault and by
holding its gain despite the repeated counterattacks of the

Fifteen American organizations have been awarded the
fourragere by the French Government. One of these,
Section No. 646 of the American Ambulance Service,
received four citations in orders of the Army and therefore
was awarded the fourragere in the colours of the ribbon of
the Medaille Militaire, the others have the green and red
fourragere of the Croix de Guerre for two Army citations.
They are the 9th, i6th, i8th, 23d, 26th, and 28th regiments
of Infantry, the 5th and 6th regiments of Marines, the
6th Marine Machine Gun Battalion, the 2d regiment of
Engineers, the 5th Machine Gun Battalion, the 103d
Aero Squadron and Sections 539 and 625 of the Ambulance
Service. The 103d Aero Squadron was formerly in the
French service and is better known by the name it then
possessed, the Lafayette Escadrille. This organization
and the three Ambulance sections were all temporary
units and have been demobilized. In addition to these
many others have had their colours decorated with the


d^rbetfiJ, ©etorationie;, anb SttiSignia

Croix de Guerre, but have not had the necessary two
citations in Army orders to receive the fourragere.

In view of the very high honours given to Ambulance
Section No. 646, it will be of interest to quote the citations
received as examples of the French method. It was
originally a Red Cross organization serving in the French
Army and was taken over by us in October, 191 7.
Throughout the greater part of its service it was com-
manded by Lieutenant Erwin Thayer Drake, Medical
Corps. The following are translations of the original
citations it received :

Headquarters, 2d Army, 12th of April, 1916

Extract from General Order 83

The Commanding General of the 2d Army cites in orders of
the Army:

American Sanitary Section No. 5 (Harjes)

It assured the evacuations, with absolute contempt for
danger, during a period of eleven days of fighting, from the
8th to the 20th of March, in a zone heavily covered by enemy

Moreover, all its personnel gave proof of devotion and re-
markable endiurance, asstuing, by service averaging nineteen
hours a day, the very great efficiency of this unit.
(Signed) Petain

Commanding General, 2d Army.

This citation was given for services performed during the

heroic defence of Verdtm, a year before the United States

entered the war.

The next citation was in Corps orders and therefore did

not count towards awarding the fourragere :


3Becoration of tfie Coloutje;

Extract from General Order 213, 3d Army Corps, 28th of

June, 1 91 7

The Commanding General, 3d Army Corps, cites in orders
of the Corps

American Sanitary Section U 5 (Harjes)

A very brave and devoted American Section, it assured the
evacuations of the sick and wounded of the division in a very
dangerous and continually bombarded sector. It had two
drivers seriously wounded and seven of its ambulances were
struck by bursting shells. It has already been cited.
(Signed) Lebrun
Commanding General, 3d Army Corps.

The next citation was in division orders and again it
could not be considered for the award of the f ourragere :

Extract from General Order 33, 66th Chasseur Division,
19th of August, 191 7

The Commanding General, 66th Division cites in orders of
the Division

American Sanitary Section No. 5 (Harjes)

Section commanded by First Lieutenant Thayer Drake
(American), recently assigned to the 66th Division. It had
the opportunity to work for the first time with the division
during the attack of July 30th and the counterattacks of the
following days. It immediately distinguished itself in evacuat-
ing the wounded with the greatest rapidity by routes under-
going a very heavy bombardment, thus giving proof of excep-
tional qualities of coolness and courage.

It has already distinguished itself at Verdun and during the
battle of the Aisne.

(Signed) Brissaud
Commanding General, 66th Division.

0xhttsi, JBttovatitmsi, anb SniSJignia

Extract from General Order 539, 6th Army, 9th of December,


American Sanitary Section No. 5 is cited' in orders of the

An ^lite personnel who showed the highest sense of duty
during the attack of October 23d to 26th.

It assured in the least time, in spite of great material diffi-
culties, the evacuation of all the wounded of the division over
routes scarcely practicable and undergoing heavy bombard-
ment. It only achieved this remarkable result by its absolute
contempt for danger and by its exceptional qualities of physi-
cal and moral endurance.

(Signed) Maistre.

This order was issued after the section had been trans-
ferred to the American Army and had become Unit No.
646, but it was for services performed while in the Twenty-
seventh Infantry Division of the French Army. This
being the second citation in army orders, the unit was now
eligible for the f ourragere and the following order was duly
issued :



30th November, 191 7

General Order No. 65 "F"

The General, Commander-in-Chief, has decided that the

units herafter designated will have the right to wear the

Fourragdre in the colours of the ribbon of the Croix de Guerre.

American Sanitary Section No. 5

These units have obtained two citations in orders of the
Army by their brilliant conduct before the enemy.

(Signed) Petain

General, Commander-in-Chief.

50ecoration ot tfje Colours;

The citations subsequently given were for services
performed by the organization after it was transferred to
the United States service as Sanitary Unit 646, and it will
be observed that the French would not cite it without the
prior approval of General Pershing.


Extract from Orders No. 10.887 "D," 25th of October, 1918

After the approval of the Commander-in-Chief, American
Expeditionary Forces in France, the Commander-in-Chief of
the French Armies of the North and North-east cites in orders
of the Division

American Sanitary Section 646

Assigned to re-inforce American Sanitary Section No. 539
and to aid it in the work of the evacuations of the Infantry
Division, in the course of the operations effected by this unit
from July i8to28, 1918, American Sanitary Section 646 gave
it unreserved assistance, sharing its dangers and hardships
with equal skill and desire to afford the wounded the blessed
privilege of as rapid an evacuation as possible.
(Signed) Petain

General, Commander-in-Chief.

Although published in Army orders it will be observed
that this is given as a Division citation.


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Online LibraryRobert E. WyllieOrders, decorations and insignia, military and civil; with the history and romance of their origin and a full description of each → online text (page 14 of 19)