The Order of Saint George
Compiled and Researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewski

Cross and ribbon of the Order of St. George of the First Class.

The Order of St. George was instituted twenty years after the death of Peter the Great by Catherine II. The Order of St. George was officially instituted in St. Petersburg on November 26, 1769. The first holder of the order was the empress herself and the decoration survived until the Revolution in 1917.

The Order of St. George had a motto: "For Service and Valor." and was awarded for fortitude, bravery, and zealous service, as well as for the glory of Russian arms. Saint George was the patron saint and defender of Russia. The order was divided into four classes and consisted of a enameled gold cross. a four-pointed star, and a black and orange ribbon. The statutes of this order forbade it being embedded with precious stones. The fourth class insignia was generally awarded, while the first and second classes were reserved to the emperor's personal nominations.

Only twenty-five people received the order's first class insignia, as compare to the thousand or more that received the Order of St. Andrew.

From 1913 onwards this badge was known as the Cross of St. George.

A sabre (gold-weapon) was given with "For Gallantry" incribed and a small enamel cross of the Order of St. George on the hilt and a sword-knot of the colors of Order of St. George's ribbon. From 1807 those awarded gold-weapons were regarded as bearers of the Order of St. George. In 1913, this award was officially named St. George's Weapon.

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