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Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First Called
Star and Badge of the Imperial Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First Called
Awarded by  Russian Federation
Type Military and Civilian Order
Eligibility Prominent State and Public Figures
Awarded for Outstanding Service to the State
Status Active
Established 1698 and 1998
Next (lower) Order of St. George
Ribbon of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First Called

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called (Russian: Орден Святого апостола Андрея Первозванного) was the first and the highest order of chivalry of the Russian Empire. Abolished under the USSR, it was re established as the top Russian Order in 1998.

Russian Empire

The "Jewel" (Badge) of the Imperial Order of St. Andrew, obverse (left) and reverse (right)


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.

Award Design

Rules for wearing the Order of St Andrew. Collar at left reserved for special occasions

The insignia of the order consisted of:

  • Badge: an enameled crowned black double-headed eagle bearing a blue St. Andrew's Cross (saltire) with St. Andrew crucified upon it; on the arms of the saltire were the Latin letters 'SAPR' ('St. Andrew, Protector of Russia'). It was worn on a pale blue sash over the right shoulder, or on special occasions on an elaborate 'collar' (chain).
  • Star: eight-pointed silver star bearing a miniature of the badge on a golden background at the center, surrounded by the motto "For Faith and Loyalty" (Russian: Za Veru i Vernost) on a blue ring. It was worn on the left chest.

The insignia of order could be awarded "with diamonds" as a special distinction. Saint Andrew's Cathedral in Saint Petersburg was the chapter church of this order of chivalry.

Recipients (partial list)

Russian Federation

Modern Order of St Andrew the Apostle

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 №757 on June 1, 1998.[1] The Order's award criteria were modified by Presidential Decree 1099 of September 7, 2010.[2]

Statute of the Order

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle the First-Called is awarded to 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.[3] The Order may also be awarded to foreign heads of states for outstanding service to the Russian Federation.[3]

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 worn on lounge suit 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.

Award Design

The design of the modern Order of St. Andrew has changed very little from the imperial design. It consists of:

  • a badge (double-headed eagle) attached to a chain (called a "collar") worn around the neck for very special circumstances, or more commonly on a 100mm-wide blue sash worn over the right shoulder
  • a star worn on the left breast

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: «За веру и верность» ("For faith and loyalty").[3]

Recipients (partial list)

Among the recipients of the Order after its re-establishment were:[4]

See also


  1. "Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of June 1, 1998, No 442" (in Russian). Commission under the President of the Russian Federation on state awards. 1999-12-15. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  2. "Decree of the President of the Russian Federation of September 7, 2010, No 1099" (in Russian). Russian Gazette. 2010-09-07. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Statute of the Order of St. Andrew the Apostle" (in Russian). Commission under the President of the Russian Federation on state awards. 1999-12-15. Retrieved 2012-02-11. 
  4. "Compiled from the site of the President of the Russian Federation" (in Russian). Kremlin News. Retrieved 2012-02-07. 

External links

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