|Ordre de l'Étoile Noire|
The Grand Croix badge, ribbon and plaque
|Awarded by France Benin|
Order with five degrees:|
Commandeur avec plaque
|Status||Deprecated 3 December 1963 by the Ordre National du Mérite|
|Established||1 December 1889|
|Next (higher)||Médaille militaire|
|Equivalent||Ordre national du Mérite|
|Next (lower)||Croix de guerre|
The Order of the Black Star (Ordre de l'Étoile Noire) was an order of knighthood established on 1 December 1889 at Porto-Novo by Toffa, future king of Dahomey (today the Republic of Benin). Approved and recognised by the French government on 30 July 1894, after the establishment of the new statutes of 30 August 1892, according this distinction to all those who worked to develop French influence on the west coast of Africa.
The order has five classes: Grand-croix (grand cross), Commandeur avec plaque (commander with plaque), Commandeur (commander), Officier (officer), and Chevalier (knight).
The order was deprecated by decree on 3 December 1963, and superseded by the Ordre National du Mérite. Extant members of the order are permitted to wear their original decorations.
- Marc Champenois (9 August 2008). "Ordre de l'Étoile noire" (in French). Les décorations Francaises. http://www.france-phaleristique.com/etoilenoir.htm. Retrieved 2009-02-06.
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