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Order of the Black Star

Ordre de l'Étoile Noire
The Grand Croix badge, ribbon and plaque
Awarded by  France Benin
Type Order with five degrees:
Commandeur avec plaque
Status Deprecated 3 December 1963 by the Ordre National du Mérite
Established 1 December 1889
Next (higher) Médaille militaire
Equivalent Ordre national du Mérite
Next (lower) Croix de guerre

The Order of the Black Star (Ordre de l'Étoile Noire) was an order of knighthood established on 1 December 1889 at Porto-Novo by Toffa, future king of Dahomey (today the Republic of Benin). Approved and recognised by the French government on 30 July 1894, after the establishment of the new statutes of 30 August 1892, according this distinction to all those who worked to develop French influence on the west coast of Africa.


The order has five classes: Grand-croix (grand cross), Commandeur avec plaque (commander with plaque), Commandeur (commander), Officier (officer), and Chevalier (knight).

Grand Officier

The order was deprecated by decree on 3 December 1963, and superseded by the Ordre National du Mérite. Extant members of the order are permitted to wear their original decorations.


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