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Date cu privire la noul sistem de decoraţii al României / Remarks on the New Award System of Romania

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Excerpt Two important facts have influenced the historical development of the Romanian state awards: 1st, the social inner organization of both Moldavia and Wallachia, in which things like orders and medals were regarded as curiosities, rather than political ruling instruments; 2nd, the international "status" of the two Romanian countries, which were until 1877 under Ottoman authority. Thus, it is not without importance to see that the 10th of May 1877 was the moment in which the state independence was proclaimed, but also the occasion for the first Romanian order to be established by an act of the Parliament. It is true that this first order - the "Star of Romania" - was not the first award to be conferred by the prince of Romania, even before 1877. In order to recognize the merits of a military long service, and those significant contributions in the artistic fields, Prince Charles of Hohenzollern - Sigmaringen had introduced here some typical German minor awards. 1877th "Star of Romania" was adopted as an equivalent of the French "Legion of Honor", the badge being that of an unrealised order imagined by the Prince Alexander I. Cuza. Other awards were after instituted, the system resulted being a fully functional French type one. After World War I, Romania had a personalized hierarchy of awards (including war distinctions), soon modified by King Charles II with new British and Scandinavian "fashioned" orders and medals.
After 1947, the new communist regime declared all the royal awards obsolete, replacing them by a soviet system inspired by our powerful eastern neighbour - the URSS - system that was already in use in other soviet countries. Those "sui generis" orders and medals, which were very particular by their appearance, legal treatment and social significance, remained in use until the important change of 1989.
Between 1992-1996 and then 1996-2000, a special parliamentary committee functioned, in order to re-establish a newly democratic system of awards. Its activity has as the principle result the establishing of the Awards Act, the Law 29 of 2000. Still in use, it stipulates three national orders (the "Star of Romania" become again the first order, which contains now the rank of a Collar), three military orders (with a peace branch and a war branch), six civil orders, three honorary signs and so on (all the orders have the corresponding medals). There are no more financial benefits, because all the orders, crosses and medals are purely honorary. Lots of changes were made to those re-established awards, but at the present day the system - though well described by the Law 29 of 2000 - cannot well function because of the fact that there are still some awards not in use (not being yet established by particular enactments).
Paginaţia 519-532
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Titlul volumului de apariție
  • Cercetări Numismatice; VIII; anul 2002