Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour

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French President Emmanuel Macron recently conferred his country’s highest honour, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour, upon the Indian Prime Minister.

About Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour


  • What is it? The National Order of the Legion of Honour, or simply The Legion of Honour is the highest French decoration, both civil and military, and is one of the most famous national honours in the world.
  • Five Degrees: The Legion of Honour has five degrees of increasing distinction: three ranks — Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), and Commandeur (Commander) — and two titles — Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand-croix (Grand Cross). The Prime Minister has been honoured with the highest French honour, akin to the Bharat Ratna in India.
  • Origin: The Order was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, and has been presented for more than the past two centuries on behalf of the French Head of State to its most deserving citizens in all fields of activity.
  • Are foreigners eligible? Foreigners may be decorated with the Legion of Honour “if they have rendered services (e.g. cultural or economic) to France or supported causes defended by France, such as human rights, freedom of the press, or humanitarian action”.
  • The motto of the Order is: Honneur et Patrie, French for Honour and Fatherland.
  • Award
    • There is no material or financial benefit attached to the award.
    • The award badge is a five-armed Maltese asterisk hung on an oak and laurel wreath. 
    • On the obverse is the effigy of the Republic and on the reverse two tricolor flags surrounded by the motto. The color of the ribbon is red.


Q1) What is Bharat Ratna?

‘Bharat Ratna’, the highest civilian Award of the country, was instituted in the year 1954. Any person without distinction of race, occupation, position or sex is eligible for these awards. It is awarded in recognition of exceptional service/performance of the highest order in any field of human endeavour.

Source: Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour: France’s highest decoration, mark of its greatest honour, for PM Modi