Order of the Dannebrog
The Order of the Dannebrog was established by King Waldemar II in 1219. The Order renewed by King Christian V in 1671. The Order was only to comprise 50 noble Knights in one class plus the Master of the Order, i.e. the King, and his sons. In 1808, the Order was reformed and it was divided into four classes: the Grand Commander class and below that the three regular classes of the Order: Grand Cross (first Order class), Commander 1st Degree and Commander (second Order class), and Knight 1st Degree and Knight (third Order class). The Cross of Honour is attached to the Order of the Dannebrog.
Today, the Order of Dannebrog is a means of rewarding the faithful servants of the modern welfare state for meritorious civil or military service, for a particular contribution to the arts, sciences or business life or for those working for Danish interests.
The monarch heads the Order.
The badge of the Order of the Dannebrog is a white and red-enamelled Dannebrog cross, for the Knights in silver and for everyone else in gold. The cross hangs in the crowned monogram of the bestowing monarch. On its front, the cross bears the crowned monogram of Christian V as well as the motto of the Order: Gud og Kongen (God and the King). On the reverse, the crowned monograms of Valdemar II Sejr, Christian V and Frederik VI, as well as the years 1219, 1671 and 1808 appear. In each of the four angles of the cross a royal crown has been placed.
The Grand Commander class has been reserved to persons of princely origin, and not more than seven Orders are bestowed. The Grand Commanders wear the badge on a necklet (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies). An eight-pointed silver star is worn on the left side of the chest.
The insignia of the Grand Cross class consist of the badge, the star of the Order (the same as for Grand Commanders), the collar and the sash. The collar of the Order is of gold and the sash is white with a red border. The sash is draped from the right shoulder to the left hip.
Commanders 1st Degree and Commanders wear the badge on the necklet (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies). Commanders 1st Degree also wear a breast cross.
Knights 1st Degree and Knights wear their cross on a chest ribbon (gentlemen) or on a bow (ladies). Knights 1st Degree have a rosette on the chest ribbon or bow.
The Cross of Honour of the Dannebrog is awarded to Danes on whom the Order of the Dannebrog has already been bestowed. It is also worn by the individual members of the royal family. Its badge is all in silver and it is worn on a ribbon (gentlemen) or bow (ladies) with rosette.
The insignia of the Order must be returned upon the death of the holder.
"It is acquired through distinguished service and actions; such as: excellent proof of courage, insight and manliness for the warrior, or faith, insight and zeal for the civil servant, through devotion to the King, the country and fellow citizens; through successful accomplishment of difficult ventures where no pains were spared, to the benefit of the State; through progress made in science and in the arts to the glory of the nation; through ingenious inventions whereby new sources of wealth are opened to the State and through generally useful, new and beneficial plants in the nation’s agriculture, industry and trade.
Convinced that the upright person, next to the stimuli of religion and morality, considers the Honour as the purest and noblest mainspring of everything Good, and that he, next to the gratifying feeling of having been useful, considers the esteem of his Sovereign and of his fellow citizens the most dignified reward, We have found that Our paternal purposes can best be achieved by means of an external symbol of recognized civic worth."
Royal letters patent concerning the
extension of the
Danish Orders of Chivalry