Order of merit

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Orders of merit may be found bestowed as official distinctions by states and as dynastic orders by royal families alike. In picture the Cross of the Order pro Merito Melitensi, exceptionally an order of merit established in 1920 by the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, itself an independent, Catholic order of chivalry and sovereign entity.

An order of merit is a visible honorific order conferred by a state, government, royal family, or other sovereign entity to an individual in recognition of military or civil merits.

The historical background of the modern honour system of orders of merit may be traced to the emergence of orders of chivalry in the Middle Ages.

An order of merit may be found bestowed as official distinctions by states and as dynastic orders by royal families alike; in the case of modern republics, it may constitute the highest distinction conferred by the respective state authority.

National orders of merit[edit]

Dynastic orders of merit[edit]

Defunct[edit]

See also[edit]