|Order of the White Eagle|
Order of the White Eagle
|Type||State Order (1883-1945)|
House Order (after 1945)
|Awarded for||Peace or wartime merit or significant services rendered to the Crown, State and Nation.|
|Presented by|| Kingdom of Serbia|
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|Eligibility||Serbian/Yugoslav citizens and foreign nationals.|
|Established||23 January 1883|
Grand Cross with swords
Cavalier with swords
|Next (higher)||Order of Saint Prince Lazarus (Royal Order only) (1883-98)|
Order of Milosh the Great (1898-1903)
Order of the Kara?or?e's Star (after 1903)
|Next (lower)||Order of the Cross of Takovo (before 1903)|
Order of St. Sava (1903-1945)
Order of the Yugoslav Crown (Kingdom of Yugoslavia, 1930-1945)
King Milan I of Serbia instituted the Order of the White Eagle on 23 January 1883, concurrently with the Order of St. Sava. The Order had five classes and was conferred on Serbian and Yugoslav citizens for achievements in peace or war, or for special merits to the Crown, the state and nation. In the period between 1883 and 1898 Order of the White Eagle was the highest award in the Kingdom of Serbia. In 1898 the Royal Order of Milo? the Great took precedence over the White Eagle and in 1904 the former was replaced by the Order of Kara?or?e's Star.
After his accession to the throne in 1903, King Peter I of Serbia continued awarding the Order of the White Eagle, but the reverse of the medallion had the year of the proclamation of the Kingdom (1883) instead of the cipher of Milan I.
The white eagle with wings displayed was re-established as the State Arms of Serbia, symbol descended from the Emperors of Byzantium. The order had a War Merit Division, with crossed swords between the Royal Crown and eagle's heads, that was introduced in 1915, and conferred for conspicuous bravery of the officers in the field.
The Order is conferred by the Crown. Recent awards include last Grand Master of the Sovereign Order of St. John (Fr. Angelo de Mojana di Cologna), as well as posthumous conferment upon three Crown Council Members.
The order was disestablished in 1945, with the end of the monarchy, but the status of a decoration continued in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY) for the War Merit Division of this decoration.
The Order of the White Eagle had five degrees, and could be awarded with swords for the military services, with or without swords for civil merit. The Order was organized into five classes: