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Catalog Data

Created by:
Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honor, French, founded 1802  Search this
Received by:
General Colin L. Powell, American, 1937 - 2021  Search this
enamel on gold , silk (fiber)
H x W x D: 2 3/4 × 1/2 × 3/16 in. (7 × 1.3 × 0.4 cm)
Place made:
France, Europe
July 24, 1992
This is a miniature version of the Legion of Honor that was awarded to General Colin Powell at the French embassy in Paris in 1992. The Legion of Honor was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1802 and is the highest decoration in France. It is divided into five degrees of increasing distinction: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross). General Powell was awarded the medal with the degree of Commandeur. The miniature version of the medal is worn on informal attire.
A miniature Legion of Honor ribbon badge awarded by the Grand Chancery of the Legion of Honor to General Colin L. Powell. This ribbon badge is a replica of the larger badge and includes indication of the rank given to General Powell, Commandeur, as seen by the round red wheel over the silver square. The badge is an intricately constructed five-armed Maltese Asterisk, a pennant-ended cross of enamel over yellow gold. The cross arms have gold borders and the interstices between the arms are covered with white enamel. The center of the cross is a gold medallion with a white enamel border and bears the emblem of the Legion of Honor, which is a five-pointed star with a crown above it. The French Tricolor of two crossed red, white, and blue flags, in enamel, is also represented. The dark blue enameled ring of the medallion features the engraved words "HONNEUR ET PATIE" (Honor and Fatherland). A gold oak wreath is superimposed beneath the cross and enameled in verdant green. The obverse side of the medallion features an engraved portrait of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic, wearing a Phrygian cap and surrounded by the engraved words, "République Française" (French Republic). The badge was originally stored alongside its larger parent in a red presentation box (A2022.
African American  Search this
Government  Search this
International affairs  Search this
Men  Search this
Military  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:
Unknown – Restrictions Possible
Rights assessment and 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