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Event summary - The resurrected Swedish orders system

The Swedish system of orders is re-introduced - plus a new honorary member of OMSD.
Event summary - The resurrected Swedish orders system

The Swedish Order of Vasa (Knight)

Tom C. Bergroth, the well-known phaleristics scholar and curator at the "Kungl. Maj:ts Orden" in Stockholm, held an interesting OMSD presentation on April 4th.. The title of the presentation was "The Swedish system of orders before 1975 and after. A re-introduced award system".

The Swedish system of orders was introduced in 1748, with the institution of the Order of the Seraphim, the Order of the Sword and the Order of the North Star. In 1772 the Order of Vasa was added, being an order with a broader scope compared to the previous three orders. Medals for bravery were instituted in 1789.

In 1975, the Swedish parliament - the Riksdag - decided, that orders were no longer to be awarded to Swedish citizens, but only to foreigners, e.g. in connection with state visits.

Bergroth explained the major trends in Sweden's history of orders 1748-2017. 2017 marked the start of a political debate regarding a re-introduction of the system of orders. An agreement was reached and a commission was set up. The commission has come up with a proposal to renew the system, e.g. by re-introducing the black ribbon for the Order of the North Star and adding a North Star medal. It will now also be possible to award decorations posthumously. A new addition will be the creation of a council to evaluate potential recipients without political interference.

As a bonus, Bergroth ended the presentation with the news of a coming exhibition of the Order of Vasa at the Stockholm Castle, on the ocasion of its 250 years anniversary. The exhibition is open from May 2022 to May 2023.

The presentation was received with great applause.

It is interesting to note, that also the French and Russian revolutions abandoned the system of orders. In Sweden, the system was put on hold. So what happened? In both France and the Soviet Union, orders were quickly re-introduced, and in Sweden the hibernation is almost over. It looks like systems of orders are still important.

After the presentation, Bergroth was appointed to Honorary Member of OMSD. Bergroth has been a member of OMSD for more than 50 years and is always ready to make a presentation when asked. He is the author of numerous phaleristic books. He has been, and still is, involved in many exhibitions with a phaleristic content.

Bergroth is the 5th Honorary Member of OMSD since 1966 when the Society was founded.