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The Grand Cross of Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
|Awarded by the President of Poland|
|Type||Five grade order|
|Awarded for||Service in improving relations between nations|
|Established||April 10, 1974 (Revised October 16, 1992)|
|Next (higher)||Order of the Cross of Independence|
|Next (lower)||Cross of Valour|
Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland ribbon
The Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (Polish: Order Zas?ugi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej) is a Polish order of merit created in 1974, awarded to persons who have rendered great service to Poland. It is granted to foreigners or Poles resident abroad. As such it is sometimes referred to as a traditional "diplomatic order".
The order was established by an act of 10 April 1974, as the Order of Merit of the Polish People's Republic (Order Zas?ugi Polskiej Rzeczypospolitej Ludowej). It was awarded in five classes: Grand Cordon of the Order, Commandery with Star, Commandery, Gold Badge of the Order, and Silver Badge of the Order. It was awarded by the Polish Council of State.
After the fall of communism in Poland in 1989, it was decided to retain the order, with necessary changes. Without a formal change of the 1974 act or the name of the order, the insignia were changed to the present ones by a presidential decree of 16 April 1991. The abbreviation "PRL" was changed to "RP," the Eagle was given a crown in accordance with Poland's new coat of arms, the date "1974" was removed from the reverse, and the color of the ribbon was changed from light cobalt blue to dark cobalt.
Under an act of 16 October 1992, the order was reestablished under the name Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland (Order Zas?ugi Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej).
Under the 1992 act, the order is awarded to foreigners or Poles resident abroad for distinguished contributions to international cooperation or cooperation between Poland and other countries. It is awarded by the President of Poland.
From 1974 to 1991 the Order was awarded in following classes:
Since 1992 the Order is awarded in the following classes:[a]