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Catalog Data

Created by:
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Issued by:
President George H. W. Bush, American, born 1924  Search this
Received by:
General Colin L. Powell, American, 1937 - 2021  Search this
ink and enamel on gold with rayon
H x W x D: 4 5/16 × 2 3/16 × 3/16 in. (11 × 5.6 × 0.4 cm)
Place collected:
McLean, Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, North and Central America
July 3, 1991
General Colin Powell was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on July 3, 1991, by President George H. W. Bush. Along with the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian award of the United States. General Powell was awarded a second Presidential Medal of Freedom, with distinction, in 1993.
A Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President George H.W. Bush to General Colin L. Powell, July 3, 1991. This multicolored medal is a layered five-point gold star designed by the US Army’s Institute of Heraldry. The front of the star is painted with white enamel and overlays the red enameled golden pentagon below it, which is ringed by gold wingspread eagles. The round center of the star has a dark blue enamel face with thirteen gold stars, as seen on the Great Seal of the United States. On the reverse of the medal embossed in a circle of large letters is: [PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM]. At the center is engraved: [GENERAL / COLIN L. POWELL, USA / JULY 3, 1991 / 638]. The medal is typically worn around the neck by its white bordered navy-blue ribbon and is, in addition to the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor of the United States.
African American  Search this
Government  Search this
Men  Search this
Military  Search this
Persian Gulf War, 1991  Search this
Politics  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Alma J. Powell
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No known copyright restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Awards and Medals
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture