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Star of Courage
Star of Courage (Canada).png
The Star of Courage
Awarded by the
Canadian Coat of Arms Shield.svg
Queen of Canada
Type Medal
Eligibility All Canadian citizens and foreign persons as described.
Awarded for Acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril.
Status Currently awarded
Post-nominals SC (English)
ÉC (French)
Established 1 May 1972
First awarded 20 July 1972
Total awarded 420
Next (higher) Star of Military Valour
Next (lower) Meritorious Service Cross
SC ribbon bar.png
Ribbon of the Star of Courage

The Star of Courage (French language: Étoile du Courage) is a decoration that is the second highest award for bravery within the Canadian system of honours,[1] and one of the three Canadian Bravery Decorations gifted by the Canadian monarch, generally through his or her viceroy-in-Council. Created in 1972, the medal is presented to both living and deceased individuals deemed to have performed "acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril,"[2] and grants recipients the ability to use post-nominal letters; for Anglophones SC, and for Francophones ÉC.[2]


The Star of Courage is in the form of a 38 millimetres (1.5 in) wide silver compass star Celeste with a maple leaf in each angle. On the obverse is a gold roundel at the centre of the star, bearing a maple leaf surrounded by a laurel wreath. The reverse bears on the upper arm the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch beneath a St. Edward's Crown, symbolizing the Canadian monarch's role as the fount of honour,[3] and the inscription COURAGE. Below this is engraved the name and rank of the recipient.[2]

This medallion is worn on the left chest, on a 38 millimetres (1.5 in) wide ribbon coloured red with two vertical blue stripes: for men, hung from a bar, and for women, on a ribbon bow, both pinned to the left chest.[2] Should an individual already possessing a Star of Courage be awarded the medal again for subsequent acts of bravery, he or she is granted a medal bar, in gold and bearing a maple leaf, for wear on the ribbon from which the original medal is suspended; a small gold maple leaf is also added to the ribbon bar.[2]

Eligibility and receipt

On 1 May 1972, Queen Elizabeth II, on the advice of her under Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, created the Star of Courage to recognize acts of great bravery. Any person, living or deceased, may be nominated for the Star of Courage; it is not necessary that the act of bravery take place in Canada, nor must the person who carried out the act be a Canadian. However, the event must have involved Canadians and/or Canadian interests. Nominations can be made no later than two years following either the act of bravery itself or the conclusion of any coroner's or court's inquest into the events for which the person was nominated.[1] As of August 2009, the Star of Courage has been presented to 417 people, though no bars have yet been issued.[4]

See also


External links

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