Order of the Redeemer
GRC001 Τάγμα του Σωτήρος
- Order was instituted on 31 July 1829.
- Order is awarded to Greek citizens who partook in the War of Independence, or "who should distinguish themselves henceforth in any branch of public service, in the army and navy, in the diplomatic and judicial corps, in public administration, in the arts, science, agriculture and industry, commerce, or should distinguish themselves in any other social field through outstanding civic virtue, and through illustrious services to the Throne, for the Glory of the Hellenic name and for the welfare of the fatherland", while foreigners were admitted either for past services to Greece, or due to their ability "to bring honour to the Order, through their outstanding personal virtues and excellence.
- The original decree of 1833 described the badge of the Order as consisting of a white enamelled Maltese cross (silver for the Silver Cross, gold for the higher grades), surmounted by a crown, set on a green enamelled wreath, one half of which is an oak branch and the other half a laurel branch. The obverse featured a white cross on a blue background (the coat of arms of Greece) with Otto's Bavarian arms in an inescutcheon in the centre, surrounded by this inscription on an outer ring: Η ΔΕΞΙΑ ΣΟΥ ΧΕΙΡ, ΚΥΡΙΕ, ΔΕΔΟΞΑΣΤΑΙ ΕΝ ΙΣΧΥΙ ("Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power", Exodus, 15:6). The reverse featured a portrait of Otto with the circular inscription: ΟΘΩΝ, ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΟΣ ("Otto, King of Greece").
- After Otto's deposition in 1863, his portrait was removed and substituted by an icon of Jesus, the Redeemer of Orthodox Christian soteriology. This resulted in the wearing of this side as the obverse, with the national coat of arms (purged of the Bavarian escutcheon) relegated to the reverse, and the inscriptions correspondingly changed: the obverse's inscription remained in place, and the reverse came to feature a new inscription: Η ΕΝ ΑΡΓΕΙ Δ´ ΕΘΝΙΚΗ ΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ ΣΥΝΕΛΕΥΣΙΣ - 1829 ("The IV National Assembly of the Hellenes at Argos - 1829").
- During the periods of republican rule, the crown was removed. The present form of the Order is regulated by Presidential Decree 849/1975.
- Order is awarded in five classes: Grand Cross, Grand Commander, Commander, Knight's Gold Cross and Knight's Silver Cross.