Introduction:

When Emperor Franz Joseph assumed the throne in Austria one of his earliest actions was to establish the merit crosses to be awarded to those who demonstrated proven devotion to the fatherland, many years of valuable service, or other significant services in support of the public welfare. This decoration replaced the Civil Merit Medal which had been introduced in 1848. This decoration was highly regarded and personally approved and presented by the emperor up until World War I.  In this blog I will describe some of the variations in the cases in which the gold, silver with crown and silver merit Crosses were issued,.

Ribbon:

  • Prior to September 20, 1914 crosses were only issued on a 39 mm red ribbon. After September 20, 1914 crosses for military merit were issued on a 40 mm red and white-laddered (War Ribbon) ribbon the same as is used for the bravery medals.
  • A small rectangular ribbon for this decoration sometimes issued with small attachments to indicate specific awards was introduced in October 27, 1917.

Figure 1: War ribbon, authorized for the service crosses on September 20,1914-1922. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 2: Civil ribbon, authorized for the service crosses from 1849-1922. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Figure 3: Ribbon for the Gold Merit Cross with crown and swords. authorized for the service crosses on October 27, 1917. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 4: Ribbon for the Gold Merit Cross with crown and war decoration, authorized for the service crosses on October 27, 1917. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Figure 5: Ribbon for the Gold Merit Cross with crown on civil ribbon, authorized on October 27, 1917. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Figure 6: Ribbon for the Silver Merit Cross with crown and swords. authorized for the service crosses on October 27, 1917. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Figure 7: Ribbon for the Silver Merit Cross with crown and war decoration. authorized for the service crosses on October 27, 1917. Image from the author’s archive.

Figure 8: Ribbon for the Silver Merit Cross with crown on civil ribbon. Authorized for the service crosses on October 27, 1917. Image from the author’s archive.

 

Hope you enjoyed this blog. Until next time when I will discuss the attachments to the Military Merit Cross decorations, I hope you find joy in our shared interest

Rick

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