House and Merit Order of Peter Frederick Louis
The House and Merit Order of Duke Peter Frederick Louis (German: Haus und Verdienstorden von Herzog Peter Friedrich Ludwig) was a civil and military order
Order (decoration)
An order or order of merit is a visible honour, awarded by a government, dynastic house or international organization to an individual, usually in recognition of distinguished service to a nation or to humanity. The distinction between orders and decorations is somewhat vague, except that most...

 of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, a member state of the German Empire. The order was founded by Grand Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg on November 27, 1838. It became obsolete in 1918 after the abdication of the last grand duke.


The badge of the order was a white-enameled cross pattée
Cross pattée
A cross pattée is a type of cross which has arms narrow at the centre, and broader at the perimeter. An early English example from the start of the age of heraldry proper A cross pattée (or "cross patty", known also as "cross formée/formy") is a type of cross which has arms narrow at the...

, edged in gold. The cross had a blue enameled center medallion with the crowned monogram of the Peter Frederick Louis in gold. Around the center medallion was a red-enameled ring bearing the motto "Ein Gott, Ein Recht, Eine Wahrheit" ("One God, One Law, One Truth"). Both the center medallion and the ring were edged with a gold rim. On the reverse, the coat of arms of Oldenburg were painted on the medallion. Each arm on the reverse carried dates written in a cursive script: "17 Jan. 1775", "6 Juli 1785", "21 Mai 1829", and "27 Nov. 1838". These dates corresponded to the dates of birth, accession to the throne and death of Peter Frederick Louis, as well as the date of the founding of the order.

The star of the order was an eight-pointed silver star bearing the medallion of the badge.

The ribbon of the order was deep blue with a narrow red stripe near each edge.


The order came in seven classes: Grand Cross with Crown (Großkreuz mit der Krone), Grand Cross (Großkreuz), Grand Commander (Großkomtur), Commander (Komtur), Officer (Offizier), and Knight 1st and 2nd Class (Ritter 1. und 2. Klasse). The Grand Cross with Crown and the Grand Cross consisted of a sash badge and breast star. The Grand Commander consisted of a neck badge and breast star, while the Commander was the neck badge without the star. The Officer's Cross, added in 1903, was a pinback breast badge and differed from the other badges by having a blank reverse and no crown. The Knight 1st and 2nd Class were breast badges, and the 2nd Class differed from the 1st class by not having a crown and being in silver instead of gold (the monogram and motto remained gold, however).

A special chapter of the order, the capitular knights, open only to Oldenburgers, had a badge which consisted of the medallion, surrounded by a green enameled wreath of oak leaves. It came in several classes whose badge differed in whether it was gold or silver and whether it was crowned.

Associated with the order were honor crosses for lower-ranking military personnel and civilians. The honor crosses were in gold, silver and iron. In 1910, gold, silver and bronze medals were added as additional lower-ranking awards.

All grades of the order except the medals could be awarded with swords for war merit. The swords were applied diagonally between the arms of the cross. If a recipient of a lower grade with swords received a higher grade without, he wore "swords on ring" on the higher award. These were crossed swords above the badge, usually on the ring from which the badge was suspended (in the case of the Officer's Cross, they were affixed to the top arm). In October 1918, an additional provision was made for a war decoration of a wreath of laurels affixed to the badge and breast star.

Notable recipients

  • Alexander von Falkenhausen
    Alexander von Falkenhausen
    Alexander Ernst Alfred Hermann Freiherr von Falkenhausen was a German general. He was the head of the military government of Belgium from 1940–44 during its occupation by Germany in World War II....

     - German officer in World War I. In World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    , commanding general of the military government of occupied Belgium
    Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

    ; arrested by the Nazis for his connections with the July 20 Plot
    July 20 Plot
    On 20 July 1944, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Führer of the Third Reich, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government...

    . Knight 1st Class with Swords and Laurel Wreath.
  • Friedrich Ritter von Haack - Bavarian staff officer and later General der Infanterie, who also received the highest military orders of Prussia and Bavaria, the Pour le Mérite
    Pour le Mérite
    The Pour le Mérite, known informally as the Blue Max , was the Kingdom of Prussia's highest military order for German soldiers until the end of World War I....

     and the Military Order of Max Joseph
    Military Order of Max Joseph
    The Military Order of Max Joseph was the highest purely military order of the Kingdom of Bavaria. It was founded on 1 January 1806 by Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, the first king of Bavaria...

    . Knight 1st Class with Swords.
  • Paul von Hindenburg
    Paul von Hindenburg
    Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg , known universally as Paul von Hindenburg was a Prussian-German field marshal, statesman, and politician, and served as the second President of Germany from 1925 to 1934....

     - World War I-era German field marshal and later president of Germany. Grand Cross with Golden Crown, Swords and Laurel Wreath.
  • Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
    Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
    Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was a general in the Imperial German Army and the commander of the German East Africa campaign. For four years, with a force that never exceeded about 14,000 , he held in check a much larger force of 300,000 British, Belgian, and Portuguese troops...

     - German general and commander of the German East Africa campaign
    East African Campaign (World War I)
    The East African Campaign was a series of battles and guerrilla actions which started in German East Africa and ultimately affected portions of Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign was effectively ended in November 1917...

     in World War I. Grand Commander with Swords and Laurel Wreath.
  • Erich Ludendorff
    Erich Ludendorff
    Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff was a German general, victor of Liège and of the Battle of Tannenberg...

     - German general in World War I. Grand Cross with Swords and Laurel Wreath.
  • Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
    Helmuth von Moltke the Elder
    Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke was a German Field Marshal. The chief of staff of the Prussian Army for thirty years, he is regarded as one of the great strategists of the latter 19th century, and the creator of a new, more modern method of directing armies in the field...

     - Chief of the Prussian, and then German, General Staff (1857–1888). Grand Cross with Crown and Swords.
  • Reinhard Scheer
    Reinhard Scheer
    Reinhard Scheer was an Admiral in the German Kaiserliche Marine. Scheer joined the navy in 1879 as an officer cadet; he progressed through the ranks, commanding cruisers and battleships, as well as major staff positions on land. At the outbreak of World War I, Scheer was the commander of the II...

     - German admiral and commander of the German High Seas Fleet
    High Seas Fleet
    The High Seas Fleet was the battle fleet of the German Empire and saw action during World War I. The formation was created in February 1907, when the Home Fleet was renamed as the High Seas Fleet. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz was the architect of the fleet; he envisioned a force powerful enough to...

     at the Battle of Jutland
    Battle of Jutland
    The Battle of Jutland was a naval battle between the British Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the Imperial German Navy's High Seas Fleet during the First World War. The battle was fought on 31 May and 1 June 1916 in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark. It was the largest naval battle and the only...

    . Grand Cross with Swords.
  • Alfred von Tirpitz
    Alfred von Tirpitz
    Alfred von Tirpitz was a German Admiral, Secretary of State of the German Imperial Naval Office, the powerful administrative branch of the German Imperial Navy from 1897 until 1916. Prussia never had a major navy, nor did the other German states before the German Empire was formed in 1871...

     - German grand admiral and namesake of the World War II German battleship Tirpitz
    German battleship Tirpitz
    Tirpitz was the second of two s built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Imperial Navy, the ship was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and launched two and a half years later in April...

    . Grand Cross.
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