Member Service

Forgotten your password?


OMSD Journal

The OMSD Journal is published approx. 2 times a year.

See a list of content here

OMSD Books

OMSD has published several books with content related to orders and medals.

See a list of the books here

OMSD Publishing

Ordenshistorisk Forlag is a publisher who - independent from OMSD - publishes books about orders and medals.

See the list of books here

Related Documents
Related documents

The Order of the Elephant

(in danish only)
Ribbon Guide

Click here to see a list of ribbons for Danish orders and medals.

The OMSD Collection

The OMSD Collection is a collection of orders, medals etc. donated to OMSD.

The Order of the Elephant

Originally instituted by King Christian I in approx. 1457 as "The Society of the Mother of God", but later - as the use of this order went out of fashion - reinstituted by King Frederik II in 1580 as the Order of the Elephant.

Order of the Elephant - King Frederik II

The oldest existing badge of
the order from approx. 1580
(Rosenborg Castle)

In the original order, the elephant was only a small part of the badge of the order, but when the order was reinstituted it became the dominant part.

The order was originally a catholic order with only one class, and the no. of knights could not exceed 50. It is believed that the elephant was a symbol of chastity and piety.

Around 1660 a star was added to the order and in 1693 the order got its officially written statutes.

The order can be awarded to both men and women. All knights will have their coat of arms placed in the chapel of the church at Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerød.

The badge of the order

The appearance of the badge of the order has varied over time, but the present one is a white enamelled elephant in gold with a white enamelled tower on its back. On the tower is painted red bricks and it is set with diamonds. In front of the tower is a black enamelled moor. One side of the elephant is set with 5 large diamonds, while the other side shows the cypher of the reigning monarch.

Order of the Elephant - badge

A present day badge of the order
(although set with more gems than usual)
(Rosenborg Castle)

The badge is worn from a light blue sash or from a collar with alternating elephants and towers. The elephants carry a 'D' for 'Dacia' (medieval latin for 'Denmark').

All elephants are numbered under one of the elephant's feet.

All insignias of the order must be returned upon the death of the recipient.

Order of the Elephant - star of the order

A star of the order set with pearls and diamonds
(Rosenborg Castle)

Today the order is only bestowed upon royalty or heads of state and only in rare cases is it awarded to a person of lower rank.


Bircherod, Jens "Breviarium Eqvestre, seu Illustrissimo & Inclytissimo Eqvestri Ordine Elephantino" (1704)

Stevnsborg, Lars "Kongeriget Danmarks Ordener, Medaljer og Hæderstegn" (2005)

Grandjean, H.F "De Kongelige Danske Ridderordener" (1903)

Christensen, Rolf "Danske Ordensinsignier" (1998)

Bencard, Mogens og Tage Kaarsted "Fra Korsridder til Ridderkors" (1993)

Pedersen, Jørgen "Riddere af Elefantordenen 1559-2009" (2009)