Ordre national du Mérite

France Legion of Honour Ordre de la Santé publique
Ordre national du Mérite
Ordre du mérite chez.jpg
Medal of a Knight of the Order
Awarded by the President of France
TypeOrder of merit
Established3 December 1963
Awarded forDistinguished civil or military achievements
StatusCurrently constituted
Grand MasterPresident Emmanuel Macron
GradesGrand Cross
Grand Officer
First induction1963
Next (higher)Military Medal
Next (lower)National Recognition Medal for Victims of Terrorism
RelatedOrder of Agricultural Merit
Order of Maritime Merit
Ordre national du Merite Chevalier ribbon.svg
Ribbon of the Order

The Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) is a French order of merit with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic, founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The reason for the order's establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders previously awarded by the ministries; and to create an award that can be awarded at a lower level than the Legion of Honour, which is generally reserved for French citizens.[1] It comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years.[2]


The Ordre national du Mérite (National Order of Merit) comprises about 185,000 members; 306,000 members have been admitted or promoted in 50 years.[2] Half of its recipients are required to be women.[2]

Defunct ministerial orders

The Ordre national du Mérite replaced the following ministerial and colonial orders:[1]

Colonial orders

Special ministerial orders of merit



French citizens as well as foreign nationals, men and women, can be received into the order for distinguished military or civil achievements, though of a lesser level than that required for the award of the Legion of Honour. The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the order and appoints all its members by convention on the advice of the Government of France. The order has a common Chancellor and Chancery with the Legion of Honour. Every Prime Minister of France is made a Grand cross of the order after 6 months of service.[3] Jacques Chirac, who would later serve as president, was the first prime minister to receive the Grand Cross of the order ex officio.


The Order has five classes, the same as the Légion d’honneur:[1]


Wear of the National Order of Merit of France.gif
Reverse of the Knight's insignia of the Order

The medal and the plaque of the Order were designed by the French sculptor Max Leognany.[1]

Undress ribbons
Ordre national du Merite Chevalier ribbon.svg
Ordre national du Merite Officier ribbon.svg
Ordre national du Merite Commandeur ribbon.svg
Ordre national du Merite GO ribbon.svg
Grand Officer
Ordre national du Merite GC ribbon.svg

Notable recipients

The individuals listed below have been admitted as members of the National Order of Merit:

French citizens

Foreign nationals

See also



  1. ^ a b c d Battini, Jean; Zaniewicki, Witold (2003). Guide pratique des décorations françaises actuelles. Paris: LAVAUZELLE. pp. 37–48. ISBN 2-7025-1030-2.
  2. ^ a b c "The National Order of Merit | La grande chancellerie". Legiondhonneur.fr. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  3. ^ https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000000497713&categorieLien=id
  4. ^ "Commandeur de l'ordre national du Mérite" (in French). Linternaute.com. Retrieved 2020-03-21.
  5. ^ a b c d "Décret du 13 novembre 2009 portant élévation aux dignités de grand'croix et de grand officier". legifrance.gouv.fr (in French).
  6. ^ BUSINESS, BFM. "Ce que la Légion d'honneur signifie pour les licornes".