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Order of the Southern Cross

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The National Order of the Southern Cross ( ) is a Brazilian order of chivalry founded by Emperor Pedro I on 1 December 1822. This order was intended to commemorate the independence of Brazil and the coronation of Pedro I.White, William. Notes and queries, Volume 78. London: 1888, p. 173. The name derives from the geographical position of the country, under the constellation of the Southern Cross and also in memory of the name – Ilha de Vera CruzTerra de Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross) – given to Brazil at the time of European discovery.


Originally known as the Imperial Order of the Cross (Ordem Imperial do Cruzeiro), the Order was created by Emperor Pedro I on the day of his Coronation, 1 December 1822. Also on the same date the first knights of the order were appointed, to commemorate the crowning of the Empire's first monarch. After the proclamation of the independence of Brazil on 7 September 1822 other honorific awards had been made, but of the Orders of chivalry shared with Portugal, Brazilian branches of which had been created upon independence; the Order of the Cross, created to mark the Coronation of the Empire's founder, was thus also the first purely Brazilian Order.
After the fall of the monarchy, Brazil's first republican Constitution, enacted on 24 February 1891, abolished all titles of nobility and all Imperial Orders and decorations. The Order was later re-established by the government of Getúlio Vargas on December 5, 1932, as the National Order of the Southern Cross.
thumb200pxThe Grand Coat of Arms of the Empire of Brazil displayed the badge of the Imperial Order of the Cross suspended from a blue necklet.
During the Old Republic period (from the Proclamation of the Republic until the Revolution of 1930), National Orders did not exist and the Brazilian State bestowed only military medals.Even the short-lived republican Ordem de Colombo (Order of Columbus) that had been established by the Provisional Government of the Republic as a replacement to the Imperial Orders, was abolished when Congress promulgated Brazil's first republican Constitution on 24 February 1891, declaring all Orders abolished and stating that the Republic would maintain no Orders. Only after the 1891 Constitution had ceased to operate due to the 1930 Revolution was a republican honours system created, beginning with the recreation of the Order of the Southern Cross in 1932. Restored in 1932, the Order of the Southern Cross was the first Order to be created in the re-established, republican honours system. It is considered the senior Brazilian National Order.
During the Imperial period, the Order of the Southern Cross was not the highest ranking of the Imperial Orders, as it ranked below the Brazilian branches of the ancient orders of chivalry, that originated with Portugal: the Order of Christ (the senior-most Order), the Order of Saint Benedict of Aviz and the Order of St. James of the Sword. Those Orders were shared by Brazil and Portugal; the Order of Christ was shared with the Holy See similar to the Austrian and a Spanish Orders of the Golden Fleece. However among the Brazilian created Orders, the Imperial Order of the Cross ranked first, having higher status than the Imperial Order of Pedro I and the Imperial Order of the Rose.
The Imperial Order of the Cross continues to be used by both branches of the Brazilian Imperial Family as a House Order, awarded by the rival claimants to the position of Head of the Imperial Family, but such awards are not recognized by the Republic of Brazil.
Just like the Emperors of Brazil were ex officio Grand Masters of the Imperial Order, Presidents of Brazil are ex officio Grand Masters of the successor National Order. Accordingly, President Jair Bolsonaro is the Order's current Grand Master.


File:DpedroI-brasil-full.jpgthumb190pxPedro I, first Emperor of Brazil, founder and first Grand Master of the Order, wearing the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Cross (then the Order's highest rank) among other orders.
File:D. Leopoldina - ca. 1817.jpgthumb190pxArchduchess Maria Leopoldina of Austria, Empress consort of Brazil, wears the insignia of the Imperial Order of the Cross and other orders.
File:PedroII1850.JPGthumb190pxEmperor Pedro II of Brazil, Grand Master of the Order, wearing the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Cross. The portrait displays both the star of the Order and the sash of a Knight Grand Cross.
Unlike the Imperial Order, that was awarded to Brazilians and foreigners alike, the republican National Order is awarded to foreigners only. When the Order was re-established in by presidential decree on January 13, 1932, it was restricted to foreigners only with the stipulation that all awards of the Order constitute an act of foreign relations on the part of the Brazilian Government.
File:Maria II Portugal 1829.jpgthumb190pxQueen Maria II of Portugal, eldest daughter of Pedro I of Brazil and sister of Pedro II, wearing the Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Cross and other orders.
Brazilians were excluded deliberately. In the Old Republic, the State regarded Orders and decorations as contrary to the principles of republicanism, and thus maintained no honours system; the creation of an Order that would admit Brazilians to its ranks was a step too far. However, the Brazilian State also resented the lack of a decoration with which to honour foreign dignitaries, as is sometimes almost required by diplomatic protocol. For instance, during the celebrations of the Centennial of Brazilian Independence in 1922, several foreign dignitaries, including the King and Queen of the Belgians, came to Brazil for the celebrations. The King of the Belgians bestowed Belgian honours to some Brazilians. Brazilian nationals needed authorization from the Government to accept foreign titles of honour, or else face loss of citizenship, and under normal circumstances permission for the acceptance of appointment to Orders of Chivalry would not have been granted. While the government of Brazil relaxed its practice and authorized both accepting induction into foreign Orders and the wearing of foreign insignia, it lacked any decorations with which to reciprocate the Belgian gesture. The National Order of the Southern Cross was intended as an Order that would fill that gap. Today, accepting foreign honours and insignia without the need of prior Government approval is allowed, and several Brazilian Orders have been established to which Brazilians may be admitted, starting with the National Order of Merit (Ordem Nacional do Mérito), created in 1946. Even so, the governing statutes of the National Order of the Southern Cross have never been reformed, and it thus remains unavailable to Brazilians. Paradoxically, therefore, the Order's Grand Master — the sitting President of the Republic — is never a member of the Order he or she oversees, and the President's connection with the Order is severed once the President leaves office.
The Decree that re-created the Order (Decree 22.165, signed by Vargas on 5 December 1932) does not mention the creation of a new Order, but the reestablishment of the old Order of the Southern Cross, that had been "created upon the advent of the political independence of Brazil". This was done to improve the prestige of the Order by linking it with the past, that is, by associating it with an Order that had been created more than one century earlier. Decree that "Reestablishes the National Order of the Southern Cross".
In 1932, the republican version of the Order had the same five grades as the old imperial version. In 1939, by a statute issued on 17 July of that year, the additional grade of the Grand Collar was created. Until the creation of the Grand Collar, awards of which are restricted to Heads of State, the Grand Cross was the Order's highest rank.
Awards of, and promotions in, the National Order of the Southern Cross are made by decree of the President of the Republic, in his capacity as the Order's Grand Master. The decree of appointment or promotion is, like all presidential decrees, published in the Federal Government's Official Journal, and, as per the Order's regulations, the appointment or promotion is also recorded in a book kept by the Order's secretary.
The Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations serves as the Chancellor of the Order, and an officer of the Ministry of Foreign Relations that heads the ceremonial and protocol division serves as the Secretary to the Order. The Order also has a Council, chaired by its Chancellor, that recommends awards and promotions.


File:Teresa cristina 1846.pngthumb190pxEmpress Teresa Cristina of Brazil wearing the Sash of a Dame Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Cross, with the badge of the Order suspended from the sash.
Under its current regulations, the Order consists of the Grand Master and six Classes of members:Condecorações: Cruizeiro do Sul – Regulamento Ministério das Relações Exteriores. Retrieved on 2010-10-10. .
  • Grand Collar: the recipient wears the adorned "Grand Collar", a chain from which the badge of the order is suspended. The recipient is also allowed to combine the wearing of the Grand Collar with any of the following insignia, or with both: the "Star" of the Order (a plaque modelled after the badge of the Order, to be worn on the left breast); and the Sash of the Order, that is proper to those of Grand Cross rank (a light blue sash, to be worn on the right shoulder). Awards of the Grand Collar are restricted to foreign Heads of State.
  • Grand Cross: the recipient wears the Sash of the Order, and the badge of the Order hangs from the bottom part of that sash (given that the sash is worn on the right shoulder, the badge hangs close to the left leg, by the waist line). The recipient further wears the "star" of the Order, displayed on the left breast.
  • Grand Officer: the recipient wears the badge of the Order around the neck suspended from a blue ribbon necklet, and the star of the order is displayed on the left breast.
  • Commander: the recipient wears the badge of the order around the neck, suspended from a blue ribbon necklet.
  • Officer: the recipient wears the badge of the Order on left breast suspended from a ribbon with a rosette.
  • Knight: the recipient wears the badge of the Order on the left breast suspended from a simple ribbon.

{align=center class=wikitable width=68%
!colspan=6Ribbon bars
width=16.667% valign=top align=center106pxcenterKnight
width=16.667% valign=top align=center106pxcenterOfficer
width=16.667% valign=top align=center106pxcenterCommander
width=16.667% valign=top align=center106pxcenterGrand Officer
width=16.667% valign=top align=center106pxcenterGrand Cross
width=16.667% valign=top align=center106pxcenterGrand Collar

Notable recipients


File:Elizabeth II Southern Cross.pngthumbright190pxQueen Elizabeth II displays the "Grand Collar" and star of the National Order of the Southern Cross, March 2006
  • 2018 – Benjamin Netanyahu (Prime Minister of Israel)
  • 2017 – Horacio Cartes (President of Paraguay)
  • 2017 – Stefan Zweig (novelist, playwright, journalist and biographer), posthumous award
  • 2017 – Mauricio Macri (President of Argentina)
  • 2016 – Rosen Plevneliev (President of Bulgaria)Ministério das Relações Exteriores - Decreto de 1º de Fevereiro de 2016. Published by Imprensa Nacional in Section 1 of the Diário Oficial da União on February 2, 2016. .
  • 2015 – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (President of Argentina)
  • 2015 – Enrique Peña Nieto (President of Mexico)Ministério das Relações Exteriores - Decreto de 11 de Dezembro de 2015. Published by Imprensa Nacional in Section 1 of Diário Oficial da União of December 14, 2015. .
  • 2014 – Julio de Vido (politician)
  • 2013 – José Antonio Abreu (pianist)
  • 2012 – Emmanuel Macron (current President of France)
  • 2011 – Georgi Parvanov (President of Bulgaria)Presidente Dilma é condecorada com a mais alta ordem da Bulgária GazetaOnline. Retrieved on 2011-10-05. .
  • 2011 – María Ángela Holguín (Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia)
  • 2010 – Bashar al-Assad (President of Syria)
  • 2010 – Michel Suleiman (President of Lebanon)
  • 2009 – Nicolas Sarkozy (President of France),,MUL1293839-5602,00.html
  • 2009 – Arturo Valenzuela (Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs)United States Department of State
  • 2007 – Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Prime Minister of Denmark)
  • 2007 – Carl XVI Gustaf (King of Sweden)
  • 2007 – Silvia Sommerlath (Queen consort of Sweden)
  • 2007 – Henri (Grand Duke of Luxembourg)DECRETO DE 3 DE DEZEMBRO DE 2007 - website JusBrasil
  • 2007 – Maria Teresa (Grand Duchess consort of Luxembourg)
  • 2006 – Jacques Diouf (diplomat)
    • 2004 – James Sherwood (businessman)
    • 2004 – Mohammed VI (King of Morocco)
    • 2003 – Beatrix (Queen of the Netherlands)
    • 2003 – Harald V (King of Norway)
    • 2003 – Sonja Haraldsen (Queen consort of Norway)
    • 2003 – Yasuo Tanaka (governor of Nagano)
    • 2003 – Ann Hartness (scholar)
    • 2002 – Ismael Crespo (Professor at the University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain)
    • 2002 – Aleksander KwaÅ›niewski (President of Poland)
    • 1999 – Alberto Fujimori (President of Peru)
    • 1999 – Albert Fishlow (professor)
    • 1999 – Giovanni Sartori (political scientist)
    • 1998 – Ricardo Salgado (banker)
    • 1996 – Jacques Chirac (President of France)
    • 1996 – António Guterres (Prime Minister of Portugal)
    • 1996 – Stephan Schmidheiny (entrepreneur)
    • 1995 – Ronald Venetiaan (President of Suriname)
    • 1991 - Sofía of Spain (Queen consort of Spain)
    • 1991 – Juan Carlos I (King of Spain)
    • 1990 – Václav Havel (President of Czechoslovakia)
    • 1990 – Daisaku Ikeda (president of the Soka Gakkai)
    • 1987 – Mário Soares (President of Portugal)
    • 1984 – Kiyoshi Sumiya (Ambassador of Japan)
    • 1978 – Charles, Prince of Wales (heir apparent to the British throne)
    • 1976 – Masayoshi ÅŒhira (Finance Minister of Japan)
    • 1976 – Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (President of France)
    • 1975 – Nicolae Ceausescu (President of Romania)
    • 1974 – Margrethe II (Queen of Denmark)
    • 1972 – Hugo Banzer (President of Bolivia)
    • 1972 – Alexander II KaraÄ‘orÄ‘ević (Crown Prince of Yugoslavia)
    • 1969 – Neil Armstrong (astronaut)
    • 1969 – Michael Collins (astronaut)
    • 1968 – Elizabeth II (Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms)
    • 1965 – Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran)
    • 1964 – Charles de Gaulle (President of France)
    • 1964 – Felix Grant (radio presenter)
    • 1963 – Blaže Koneski (writer)
    • 1963 – Ivan Rukavina (Army general)
    • 1963 – Josip Broz Tito (President of Yugoslavia)
    • 1962 – Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (consort of the British monarch)
    • 1961 – Che Guevara (revolutionary)
      • 1961 – Yuri Gagarin (cosmonaut)
      • 1960 – Sarit Thanarat (Prime Minister of Thailand)อาจศึก ดวงสว่าง. การพัฒนาลิกไนท์ในประเทศไทย. 2507
      • 1960 – Bhumibol Adulyadej (King of Thailand)
      • 1958 – Haile Selassie (Emperor of Ethiopia)
      • 1956 – David Rockefeller (banker)
      • 1956 – Sukarno (President of Indonesia)
      • 1955 – Hirohito (Emperor of Japan)
      • 1954 – Dwight D. Eisenhower (Supreme Commander WWII, President of the United States)
      • 1954 – Vera Weizmann (wife of Chaim Weizmann, the first President of Israel)
      • 1952 – Helen Keller (activist)
      • 1952 – Eva Perón (First Lady of Argentina)
      • 1946 – Nelson Rockefeller (as Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs, later U.S. Vice President)
      • 1944 – Charles Lyon Chandler (historian)
      • 1944 – Chiang Kai-shek (Chairman of the National Government of China)
      • 1944 – Ira C. Eaker (general of the United States Army Air Forces)Ira C. Eaker#Awards and decorations
      • 1944 – Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (Naval officer)
      • 1940 – Eleazar López Contreras (President of Venezuela)
      • 1940 – Robert B. Williams (pilot)
      • 1935 – Jean Batten (aviator)My Life, by Jean Batten, George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., 1938
      • 1933 – Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India)
      • 1884 – Nicholas II (Emperor of Russia)
      • 1878 – Wilhem II (German Emperor and King of Prussia)
      • 1873 – Carlos I (King of Portugal and the Algarves)
      • 1867 – Prince Alfred (Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha)
      • 1866 – Alexander III (Emperor of Russia)
      • 1865 – Maximilian I (Emperor of Mexico)
      • 1864 – Gaston, Count of Eu (French prince)
      • 1861 – Luís I (King of Portugal and the Algarves)
      • 1855 – Pedro V (King of Portugal and the Algarves)
      • 1852 – Domingo Faustino Sarmiento (President of Argentina)
      • 1848 – Isabella II (Queen of Spain)
      • 1838 – Fernando II (King of Portugal and the Algarves)
      • 1830 – Francis II & I (Holy Roman Emperor and Emperor of Austria)
      • 1830 – Marie Louise (Duchess of Parma, former Empress of the French)
      • 1830 – Domingos Sequeira (artist)
      • 1826 – John Pascoe Grenfell (admiral)Stewart, Charles Samuel, Brazil and La Plata, the personal record of a cruise, p. 335
      • 1826 – Maria II (Queen of Portugal and the Algarves)
      • 1823 – Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald (admiral)
      among others


      • 1888 – Afonso Celso, Viscount of Ouro Preto (Prime Minister of Brazil)
      • 1876 – José Paranhos, Baron of Rio Branco (Diplomat)
      • 1870 – José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco (Prime Minister of Brazil)
      • 1866 – Francisco Manuel Barroso, Baron of Amazonas (Admiral)
      • 1870 – Deodoro da Fonseca (Marshal)
      • 1869 – Manuel Luís Osório, Marquis of Erval (Marshal)
      • 1852 – Manuel Marques de Sousa, Count of Porto Alegre (Lieutenant general)
      • 1841 – Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias (Marshal)
      • 1841 – Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná (Prime Minister of Brazil)
      • 1837 – Pedro de Araújo Lima, Marquis of Olinda (Regent of the Empire)
      • 1824 – Carlos Frederico Lecor, Viscount of Laguna (Governor of the Cisplatina province)
      among others


    • 2016 – Medellín (Honorable support due LaMia Flight 2933 accident)

    • External links

      • Ordem Nacional do Cruzeiro do Sul – official website of the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations (Portuguese languagePortuguese)
      • Orders and Decorations of all Nations by Robert Werlich and Jose Luiz Silva Preiss-Porto Alegre-RS-Brazil
      Southern Cross, Order of the
      Southern Cross, Order of
      Category:Awards established in 1822

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