Legion of Honour, an order of merit founded by Napoleon I. in 1802. All citizens were eligible no regard being paid to differences of birth or social position. On their admission members took a. solemn oath that they would do all in their power to uphold the republican institutions of France. The order has been several times remodelled since its first institution. It now comprises five classes - viz. grand crosses, grand officers, commanders, officers, and chevaliers or knights, the total number of members being upwards of 30,000. Excepting in time of war, 25 years' public service is an indispensable qualification, and, in the case of three-fifths of the members, this must have been of a military or naval character. At present the decoration is a white enamelled star of five rays, bearing on the obverse a figure representing the Republic and the words "Republique Francaise, 1870," on the reverse, two tricolor flags with the motto "Honneur et Patrie;" the ribbon is of watered scarlet silk.