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Rosette (decoration): Wikis


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A rosette is a small, circular device that is presented with a medal. The rosettes are primarily for situations where wearing the medal is deemed inappropriate. Rosettes are issued in nations such as France, Italy and Japan. Rosettes are also sometimes called bowknots, due to their shape.

Moreover, a large rosette is sometimes pinned onto the ribbon which suspends a medal, usually the Officer (and sometimes Grand Officer)'s badge of certain Orders of Chivalry.

Some small lapel rosettes are worn in the same manner as lapel pins. Knights of the Order of the British Empire now wear a lapel rosette bearing the order's cross in the center, whereas previously this was a purely metallic lapel pin. While a metal lapel pin mounted on a silk rosette is considered a decoration, this is not always true of a metal emblem lacking the ribbon backing.


United States

In the United States, only one medal is currently issued with a rosette, the Medal of Honor. The rosette is authorized for civilian wear. The rosette is presented with the Medal of Honor neck ribbon and ribbon bar at the same time.

Previously, the Purple Heart was also presented with a rosette, but now has been replaced by a metallic lapel pin. The lapel pin is designed to be a smaller version of the ribbon bar, also for use on civilian wear (an example below is the National Defence Service Medal). Most American military medals have the ribbon bar design scaled down to the size of a lapel pin.


Medal of Honor Purple Heart (historic) Lapel pin
Medal of honor rosette.png
Purple heart rosette.png
National defence service lapel pin.png


Several of the top decorations of France, including the Légion d'honneur and the Ordre national du Mérite, are presented with a rosette along with the medal. The Legion of Honor authorized a rosette for those who are the rank of officer or above. If the grade is higher, the rosette is adorned with gold and/or silver bars (or "half-knots") which are place beside each side of the rosette. The same manner is accorded to the Order of National Merit.

In occasions when ribbon bars are worn alone, the above mentioned half-knots and/or rosettes are pinned onto the ribbon bars as appropriate to denote the wearer's grade.


Légion d'honneur Ordre national du Mérite
Legion of honor rosette.png
Order of national merit rosette.png

United Kingdom

In the U.K. small silver rosettes can be added to the ribbons that are worn in place of medals. Usually these indicate multiple award bars, the number of times a decoration for merit or distinguished service has been awarded. (Exceptions are the George Cross and Victoria Cross, where the ribbons are issued only with minatures of the medals attached.) Holders of the 1914 Star, the 1939-45 Star, the Pacific Star, and the Burma Star could also receive these rosettes if they met certain criteria for combat service.

Lineage Societies

Several American based lineage societies, provide a rosette for informal wear, as an insignia of membership.

See also

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