|Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First Called|
|Awarded by |
the Russian Federation
|Type||Military and Civilian Order|
|Motto|| ? ? |
"For Faith and Loyalty"
|Eligibility||Prominent State and Public Figures|
|Awarded for||Outstanding Service to the State|
|Next (lower)||Order of St. George|
Ribbon of the order
The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called (Russian: ? ?) is the highest order of the Russian Federation. Established as the first and highest order of chivalry of the Russian Empire in 1698, it was abolished under the USSR before being re-established as the top Russian order in 1998.
The Order was established in 1698 by Tsar Peter the Great, in honour of Saint Andrew, the first apostle of Jesus and patron saint of Russia. It was bestowed in a single class and was only awarded for the most outstanding civilian or military merit.
Peter learned of the practice of bestowing awards from his travels in the West during the Great Embassy. In the past, service to the Russian state was rewarded with money or large estates. He witnessed first hand the awards ceremonies for England's Order of the Garter and Austria's Order of the Golden Fleece and noticed the loyalty and pride of the awardees. It also saved the state land and money.
Count Fyodor Golovin was the first recipient of the order. Until its abolition following the Russian Revolution of 1917, just over one thousand awards had been made. During the monarchy, recipients of the Order of St. Andrew also automatically received the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky, the Order of the White Eagle, the Order of St. Anne first class, and the Order St. Stanislaus first class. Moreover, recipients of lower ranks were automatically promoted to the rank of lieutenant general or vice admiral. The Order of Saint Andrew continued to be awarded by the Russian Imperial House in exile. The first post revolutionary presentation was to HH Prince Georgy Konstantinovich of Russia on attaining his dynastic majority in April 1923.
The insignia of the order consisted of:
An order with the same name but with different insignia and statutes was first unofficially re-established by the Orthodox Church of Russia on December 27, 1988. The order was officially re-instated as the highest Russian civilian and military award by Presidential Decree No.757 on June 1, 1998. The Order's award criteria were modified by Presidential Decree 1099 of September 7, 2010.
The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called is used to award prominent statesmen and public figures, eminent representatives of science, culture, the arts and various industries for exceptional services, for promoting the prosperity, grandeur and glory of Russia.
The Order may also be awarded to foreign heads of states for outstanding service to the Russian Federation.
Unlike the original Imperial institution, the modern Order does not have special robes nor strict rules regulating its wearing. The collar, the sash and the star of the Imperial Order were only worn with uniform or full evening dress; the insignia are nowadays may be worn on lounge suits and at least one recipient was seen wearing the order dressed in lounge suit without a tie, something that would be unheard of during the Imperial era.
The collar of the original Order was worn across the shoulders; modern recipients tend to wear it as a chain around the neck.
The design of the insignia of the modern Order of St. Andrew has changed very little from the imperial design. It consists of:
The colour of the sash differs from the colour of the Imperial era, and resembles the shade of the sash of the British Order of the Garter. Members of the military division of the Order have crossed swords added below the crown above the two eagles' heads. On the reverse of the eagle on a white ribbon the motto of the Order appears inscribed in gold letters: « ? ? » ("For faith and loyalty").
Among the recipients of the Order after its re-establishment were:
Author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Author Sergey Mikhalkov
Gun designer Mikhail Kalashnikov
Valery Shumakov, founding father of organ transplants in Russia
Soviet Russian scholar Dmitry Likhachov
Poet Rasul Gamzatov
Dancer and choreographer Yury Grigorovich
Author Daniil Granin
President of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev