Order of Merit of the Italian Republic

The Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italian: Ordine al merito della Repubblica Italiana) was founded as the senior order of knighthood by the second President of the Italian Republic, Luigi Einaudi in 1951.[1]

Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Insignia of a Knight of the Italian Republic
TypeOrder of knighthood
Awarded forMeritorious service or achievement
Presented by Italy
EligibilityCivilian and military divisions
Established3 March 1951; 70 years ago (3 March 1951)
Next (lower)Military Order of Italy

The highest ranking honour of the Republic, it is awarded for "merit acquired by the nation" in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service, and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities and for long and conspicuous service in civilian and military careers. The post-nominal letters for the order are OMRI.[2]

The order effectively replaced national orders such as the Civil Order of Savoy (1831), the Order of the Crown of Italy (1868), the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (1572) and the Supreme Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (1362).[note 1]