Order of the Star of Romania

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Order of the Star of Romania
Ordinul Steaua României
Collar of the Order
Awarded by the King of Romania
The President of Romania
since 1998
TypeOrder of Merit
CountryKingdom of Romania
RibbonOrder of the Star of Romania - Ribbon bar.svg
Eligibility(1) Civil, Military;
(2) Military units;
(3) Foreign citizens
Criteria(1) Exceptional civil and military services to the Romanian State and the Romanian people;
(2) For special acts in time of peace or for heroic acts in time of war;
(3) For contributing to the development of the friendship relations with Romania, or for other exceptional services to the Romanian State and the Romanian People.
StatusCurrently awarded
Grand MasterPresident Klaus Iohannis
Grand Cross
Grand Officer
Next (higher)Order of Michael the Brave
Next (lower)Order of Faithful Service

The Order of the Star of Romania (Romanian: Ordinul Steaua României) is Romania's highest civil Order and second highest State decoration after the defunct Order of Michael the Brave. It is awarded by the President of Romania. It has five ranks, from lowest to the highest: Officer, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross, and Grand Cross with Collar.


In 1863, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Domnitor of the United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia, asked the Romanian representative to Paris to contact the then well-known jewellery house Krétly, to manufacture a state decoration. Krétly presented a model, which was immediately accepted by the domnitor, and based on his agreement, 1,000 pieces of the order were made. It was decided that the order would have five ranks: Knight (Cavaler), Officer (Ofițer), Commander (Comandor), Grand Officer (Mare Ofițer), and Grand Cross (Mare Cruce).[citation needed]

Unlike all other decorations in that time that were mostly inspired on the French Légion d'honneur, or which had their insignia like a Maltese cross, the model proposed by Krétly for this order was a blue cross crosslet (cruce repetată), a design that was then unique in decorational design.[citation needed]

The domnitor decided that the name of the honour would be "The Order of the Union" ("Ordinul Unirii"). It was planned to institute the order on 24 January 1864, the date when the 5th anniversary of his election would be celebrated and a moment that marked the unification of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia. Because of this, the motto of the new order would fit the event: "GENERE ET CORDES FRATRES" ("BROTHERS THROUGH ORIGINS AND FEELINGS"). The obverse of the insignia would bear the numbers "5" and "24", the days of January when he was elected in both Moldova and Wallachia.[citation needed]

However, due to the overthrow of Alexandru Ioan Cuza by a palace coup, he was unable to actually institute the order, and he awarded the insignia therefore only as a personal present, not as a state decoration. Most of the insignia produced for him remained stored in the Royal Palace's dungeons.[citation needed]

The original 1877 model - Commodore rank (obverse).

In April 1877, when Romania gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, the debate regarding the institution of Romanian decorations was revived. Mihail Kogălniceanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Ion Brătianu cabinet, took part in the debates in the Assembly of Deputies regarding the institution of a state decoration. Because of the already earlier supplied "Order of The Union", it was decided that the shape of the decoration would be the same, modifying only the domnitor's seal. The motto was also changed, because the old one was not appropriate to the moment, to "IN FIDE SALUS" ("IN FAITH IS THE SALVATION"). Regarding the name, Kogălniceanu insisted on "Steaua Dunării" ("The Star of The Danube").[citation needed]

The name "Steaua României" ("The Star of Romania") appeared on May 10, 1887, when the law was voted in the Parliament, as the first law of the Sovereign Romania.[citation needed]

By Royal Decree (no. 1545/1932), King Carol II changed the order of precedence in the Romanian honours system. As a result, in 1932, The Star of Romania dropped in precedence from second place (where it had been since 1906) to fourth place (after the Order of Carol I and the Order of Ferdinand I). In 1937, it dropped to seventh place. The main shape of the order, the blue repeated cross (called also "Romanian cross") was kept, but the rays between the cross' arms were replaced by four heraldic eagles with wings spread, the insignia of King Carol I was placed on the obverse, and the reverse bore the year of its establishment, "1877". Also the number of persons that could be awarded The Star of Romania was increased:[citation needed]

  • Knight (Cavaler): 1,000 civilians and 350 military;
  • Officer (Ofițer): 500 civilians and 150 military;
  • Commodore or Commander (Comandor): 200 civilians and 75 military;
  • Grand Officer (Mare Ofițer): 75 civilians and 25 military;
  • Grand Cross (Mare Cruce): 35 civilians and 10 military.
Certificate confirming that the Star of Romania was awarded to Ernesto Burzagli in the name of King Ferdinand I.

In 1938, the order was given a superior rank, called "Clasa I" (First Class in English), between the Grand Officer rank and the Grand Cross rank, with a maximum of 50 civilians and 15 military personnel.[citation needed]

The statutes established by King Carol II were changed by General Ion Antonescu (who became Conducător on 4 September 1940). Generally, the rules were the ones used during World War I. The order "The Star of Romania" became the second in the national hierarchy, after that of the Order of Michael the Brave.[citation needed]

Inspired by the German Iron Cross, Ion Antonescu decided that the first three grades of the orders the Star of Romania and the Crown of Romania, with spades (swords), and the ribbon of The Medal "The Military Virtue" would be awarded for exceptionally brave acts with an oak leaf, attached to the ribbon.[citation needed]

After 1948, all the existing decorations were outlawed, and their wearing was forbidden. Just by keeping the insignia, one was considered a delinquent in the first years of communism.[citation needed]

After many attempts, in 1998/1999 the National Order "The Star of Romania" was reinstituted, with a design similar to the one used in 1932, but without the insignia of King Carol I, and with the republican insignia.[citation needed]


As per Law 29/2000, regarding Romania's national system of decorations, there are currently six grades:[1]

  • 1st Class: Collar (Colan);
  • 2nd Class: Grand Cross (Mare Cruce);
  • 3rd Class: Grand Officer (Mare Ofiţer);
  • 4th Class: Commander (Comandor);
  • 5th Class: Officer (Ofiţer);
  • 6th Class: Knight (Cavaler).

Notable recipients

First issue (1877–1948)

Second issue (since 1998)

Foreign citizens

No. Name Known for Year
1 France Jacques Chirac President of France 1998
2 Peru Alberto Fujimori President of Peru
3 Finland Martti Ahtisaari President of Finland
4 Bulgaria Petar Stoyanov President of Bulgaria
5 Poland Aleksander Kwaśniewski President of Poland 1999
6 Austria Thomas Klestil President of Austria
7 Greece Konstantinos Stephanopoulos President of Greece
8 Turkey Süleyman Demirel President of Turkey
9 Norway Harald V King of Norway
10 Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Emir of Qatar
11 Kuwait Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Emir of Kuwait
12 Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev President of Kazakhstan
13 Albania Rexhep Meidani President of Albania
14 Israel Ezer Weizman President of Israel
15 Moldova Petru Lucinschi President of Moldova 2000
16 United Kingdom Elizabeth II Queen of the United Kingdom
17 Portugal Jorge Sampaio President of Portugal
18 Hungary Árpád Göncz President of Hungary
19 Denmark Margrethe II Queen of Denmark
20 Slovakia Rudolf Schuster President of Slovakia
21 Croatia Stjepan Mesić President of Croatia
22 Mexico Ernesto Zedillo President of Mexico
23 Brazil Fernando Henrique Cardoso President of Brazil
24 Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej King of Thailand
25 Ukraine Leonid Kuchma President of Ukraine
26 Lebanon Émile Lahoud President of Lebanon 2001
27 Ghana Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations
28 Netherlands Beatrix I Queen of the Netherlands
29 Lithuania Valdas Adamkus President of Lithuania
30 Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga President of Latvia
31 Sovereign Military Order of Malta Andrew Bertie Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta 2002
32 United Arab Emirates Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan President of United Arab Emirates
33 Philippines Gloria Macapagal Arroyo President of Philippines
34 Slovenia Milan Kučan President of Slovenia
35 Hungary Ferenc Mádl President of Hungary
36 United States George W. Bush President of the United States
37 San Marino Mauro Chiaruzzi Captains Regent of San Marino
38 San Marino Giuseppe Maria Morganti Captains Regent of San Marino
39 Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali President of Tunisia 2003
40 Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf King of Sweden
41 Spain Juan Carlos I King of Spain
42 Italy Carlo Azeglio Ciampi President of Italy
43 Estonia Arnold Rüütel President of Estonia
44 Luxembourg Henri I Grand Duke of Luxembourg 2004
45 Vatican City Angelo Sodano Cardinal Secretary of State
46 Malta Eddie Fenech Adami President of Malta
47 San Marino Giuseppe Arzilli Captains Regent of San Marino
48 San Marino Roberto Raschi Captains Regent of San Marino
49 Chile Ricardo Lagos President of Chile
50 Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev President of Azerbaijan
51 Jordan Abdullah II King of Jordan 2005
52 Finland Tarja Halonen President of Finland 2006
53 United States George Emil Palade Professor 2007
54 Vatican City Tarcisio Bertone Cardinal Secretary of State 2008
55 Sovereign Military Order of Malta Matthew Festing Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta
56 Poland Lech Kaczyński President of Poland 2009
57 Lebanon Michel Suleiman President of Lebanon
58 Monaco Albert II Prince of Monaco
59 Belgium Albert II King of the Belgians
60 Moldova Mihai Ghimpu President of Moldova 2010
61 Malta George Abela President of Malta
62 Latvia Valdis Zatlers President of Latvia 2011
63 Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves President of Estonia
64 Italy Giorgio Napolitano President of Italy
65 Vatican City Pietro Parolin Cardinal Secretary of State 2015
67 Portugal Aníbal Cavaco Silva President of Portugal
68 Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė President of Lithuania 2016
69 Italy Sergio Mattarella President of Italy
70 Bulgaria Rosen Plevneliev President of Bulgaria
71 Germany Joachim Gauck[3] President of Germany
72 Poland Andrzej Duda President of Poland
73 France François Hollande President of France
74 Slovakia Andrej Kiska President of Slovakia
75 Moldova Nicolae Timofti President of Moldova
76 Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović President of Croatia 2017
77 Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid President of Estonia 2021

By class

List of recipients by class
1st Class
2nd Class
Grand Crosses
3rd Class
Grand Officers
4th Class
5th Class
6th Class
Unknown Class

See also


  1. ^ "LEGE nr. 29 din 31 martie 2000 privind sistemul national de decoratii al Romaniei". Monitorul Oficial al României. Retrieved 13 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Wikimedia Commons". Commons.wikimedia.org. 2012-08-22. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  3. ^ "Iohannis i-a decorat pe preşedintele Germaniei şi pe partenera sa" (in Romanian). Mediafax. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2016.
  4. ^ www.presidency.ro, Decret de decorare semnat de Președintele României, domnul Klaus Iohannis, 29 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Klaus Iohannis a decorat opt congresmani americani cu Ordinul Steaua României în grad de Comandor". adevarul.ro (in Romanian). June 9, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Peia, Florentina; Iacob, Simona (June 9, 2017). Purcarea, Vicentiu; Pandea, Razvan-Adrian (eds.). "President Iohannis and U.S. congressmen discuss Romania's inclusion in Visa Waiver programme". Agepres. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Presedintele Basescu i-a retras Steaua Romaniei lui Vadim Tudor". 9am.ro. 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2017-07-08.

Other sources