THE EQUESTRIAN ORDERS
At a Republic of San Marino general meeting on the 13th of August 1859 The Sovereign Council, took the decision to formalise its gratitude towards those who dedicated support and service to the Republic, and those who deserved praise for humanity, science and the arts.
That event established an Equestrian Order for Civil and Military Merit in San Marino. After its establishment it was regulated by the Decrees of 22 March 1860, 27 March 1868 and 11 January 1872.
The Equestrian Order of San Marino is conferred only for political, artistic and scientific merit and on those who are not citizens of the Republic. The first degree of the Order is awarded only to Sovereigns, to members of reigning families, to high State officials and to those who have rendered extraordinary services to the Republic.
The Equestrian Order of Saint Agatha, the Saint is the co-patroness of the Republic, was established by the decree of 5 June 1923 and reformed by the decrees of 15 September 1923 and 9 June 1925. It is composed of equal ranks and is awarded to foreign citizens who have achieved change for good for the Republic through the industry, work and charity.
Collar of the Captains Regent
Few things have changed, although some have moved toward more symbolic representations. The ancient legal statutes state: “…the same Captains, having received from their predecessors the flag and the seals of the Republic, together with the keys of the gates and forts of the aforesaid Land, take the stand, God willing, and accept their office”. Today the presentation of these objects is represented by the delivery of the Collar, which brings together all powers, including the authority to represent the State and its defence.
The Collar of the Captains Regent, established by the decree of 1866 as the highest rank of the Equestrian Order of San Marino, namely the Knight of the Grand Cross, was established in 1872, when the Captains Regent were authorised to wear the insignia of Grand Master of the Order of San Marino. The Collar is completely distinct from the highest rank of the Equestrian Order.
Collar of the Equestrian Order of San Marino
A law passed on 30 April 1964 established the Collar of the Equestrian Order of San Marino, which is ordinarily conferred on Heads of State, after careful examination by the Great and General Council.
The Collar comprises gold medallions bearing the effigy of the Saint in coloured enamels. These medallions are complimented with gold title blocks filled with the motto Libertas inscribed in capital letters of light blue enamel. The medallions and the title blocks are connected by gold chains. The series of medallions alternating with the title blocks is introduced at the front with a gold plate bearing the Republic’s coat of arms, which is without crown and enclosed between two branches of oak and laurel, all in coloured enamels.
The Order’s decoration hangs from this plaque.
The Collar insignia are completed by a medal, to be worn on the left side of the chest. It bears a halo of eight gold rays, which are alternately longer and shorter, carrying the Cross of the Order and accompanied, in the sections between its four arms, by four gold title blocks with the motto Libertas in capital letters of blue enamel.
Description of Medals
Gold forked cross, enamelled in white, gold pomade, flanked by four golden towers, filled with a round shield circled in blue, with a depiction of San Marino on one side and the words of the Protectorate in the circle; on the other side, with the San Marino coat of arms, is the motto “Merito Civile e Militare” within the circle. At the top of the cross is a closed golden crown. The ribbon is made of wavy silk with four blue strips alternating with three white strips. The decoration is worn differently based on the various ranks.
The Knights of the Grand Cross also have a medal, bearing the white cross charged with a blue round shield carrying the inscription “Relinquo vos liberos ab utroque homine” surrounded by a wreath of oak and olive branches enamelled in their natural state and leaning against a ray of four gold, diamond-shaped beams. These rays alternate with four silver beams that are channelled at the end.
The Grand Officers also wear the same medal, but of a smaller size.
Golden cross enamelled in white, charged on one side with a round golden shield bearing the depiction of Saint Agata and the epigraph “Sant Agata Protettrice” while on the other side, in the same shield, there is the epigraph “Bene Merenti“. The cross is hung on a wavy silk ribbon, with five alternate strips: the one in the centre is crimson, the two middle ones are white, and the last ones are yellow.
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