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Orders, decorations, and medals of Latvia

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Awards and decorations of Latvia are governed by the Republic of Latvia Law on State Honours of 2004, last amended in 2010.

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  • Life of Laura Clifford Dreyfus-Barney
  • Mikhail Gorbachev


>> From the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. >> Mary-Jane Deeb: Well good afternoon everybody and thank you so very much for being here today with us in the African Middle East Division. I am the Chief of the Division Mary-Jane Deeb. And I am delighted to welcome you all here. I know that you're here because of the speaker, because of the topic, because it's a fascinating topic. Mona Khademi is going to be talking on the life of Laura Clifford Dreyfus Barney and her connections with Iran and Iranians. And this lecture, this presentation today is part of a lecture series on Persian lecture series that we've been holding for the past four years. It's been curated by the Persian specialist Hirad Dinavari. And it is a continuation if you want, of the wonderful exhibit that we had on 1,000 years of the Persian book. So we are continuing on the themes, on Persian themes and I always put in a few words about our own division and as most of you already know our division is made up of three sections, the African, the Hebraic and the Neri section. We cover 78 countries in the Middle East and African and Central Asia and the Caucasus. We collect materials in the languages of those countries. We collect, we preserve, we serve these collections. But we also want those collections to be known by everyone. And so we organize programs, exhibits, conferences and other activities that highlight these collections, and that inform our patrons about the countries and the cultures these publications come from. So our presentation today is a case in point. Mona Khademi is a scholar and has been a patron at the library for many, many years and has used our collections extensively has kindly agreed to discuss her work, the work that she's currently engaged in with us today. And to share with us her research. So I am grateful and delighted that she's here and it is from scholars like her that we all get to know better the countries that we are responsible for that you come here to use the collections from. So, now to introduce Mona Khademi is the head of the Nirri section Joan Weeks. [ Applause ] >> Joan Weeks: Well it's my great pleasure to introduce our speaker today. Mona Khademi is the Director of International Arts Management Consulting in Washington D.C. Through her consulting firm she has promoted global understanding through the exchange of arts and cultural programs for over 20 years. Her areas of interest include development and management of international, cultural and arts programs. She is a member of the American Alliance of Museums. Khademi received her Master's Degree in Arts Management from American University, a BA from Pahlavi University, today's Shiraz University. And is a PhD candidate in Organizational Psychology from the University of London. She is also an independent researcher and has presented papers at conferences in Switzerland, Italy, Spain, England and several cities in the US as well as at the association of Iranian Studies and the Middle East Studies Association and conferences. Her articles have been published in several journals and magazines, quarterlies and has chapters of books both in English and Persian promoting Iranian cultural activities in the Washington D.C. area has been her focus for many years. In addition, she has been carrying out research about the life of Laura Clifford Dreyfus Barney since the year 2000. And has presented papers and published articles on the subject and is currently writing a full biography to be published soon. So, it gives me great pleasure to welcome Mona to the podium. And we're very much looking forward to her presentation today. Thank you. [ Applause ] >> Mona Khademi: Thank you very much. It is my great honor to be speaking at the Library of Congress today. My gratitude goes to Dr. Mary-Jane Deeb, the wonderful Director of the Middle East Section of the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress. And Mary-Jane Weeks, and Dear Hirad Dinavari for the - for all the hard work he has done for organizing today's event. And my thanks go to each one of you in the audience. Thank you so much. My challenge today has been to prepare a talk about the life of Laura Dreyfus Barney. And her long fruitful life for a limited time. For the interest of time and in order not to miss any important points I will read my presentation. I will be showing some historical pictures and I would like to ask you not to take any pictures of the images because they are copyrighted. The first question people ask me always is why did you become interested in Laura Barney's life? It was in the year 2000 when I heard that studio house at 2306 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest was being sold and its contents auctioned. Studio House was the house that Laura Barney and her sister Natalie Barney had inherited after the death of their mother. And then years later in 1960 donated it to Smithsonian Institution. The house which is on the National Register of Historical Places stands currently and is owned and occupied by the Embassy of Latvia. A plaque with the name of Laura and her sister - Still stands outside the building, acknowledging their donation. I knew that Laura Barney was Bahai. And that she had compiled a book but did not know much more about her. I visited the house at that time and I got interested to learn more about her life. I found very little published material and that is when I started my journey. A journey that I found fascinating and has continued to date. Research about her life has taken me to a variety of archives in France, England, Switzerland and several cities in United States. And I have found correspondences, documents, newspaper articles and I've even been able to interview some people. And the material that I have found they were in English, Persian and French. And obituary in the Washington Post in August of 1974 wrote about Laura Dreyfus Barney. And after writing about her family and her achievements it reported that her interests extended from the International Council of Women to local philanthropic projects in Washington. She had died on August 18 at her home in Paris, she was 94 years old. It said that Mrs. Barney was a member of the Bahai faith and wrote the book Some Answered Questions, a book about her faith. Who was Laura Barney? Why do we have to know about her life? What are some of her accomplishments? How was her childhood? Why did she learn Persian? What attracted this privileged woman to a faith emanating from Iran? Where did she meet Gandhi, Ezra Pound, Whistler and Eleanor Roosevelt? Why was she awarded and appointment an officer of the Legion d'Honneur. Why was this woman called a global leader and who had noble deeds? Today I will answer some of these questions. Laura Clifford Barney was born in Cincinnati in 1879 to wealthy Albert Clifford Barney who was an industrialist and financier, who was the son of a manufacturer of railway cars. Her mother was Alice Pike Barney, a prominent artist, a philanthropist and the daughter of a multi-millionaire entrepreneur. Alice became a civic and social leader in Washington in the early twentieth century. Albert and Alice had two daughters, Natalie and Laura. Laura who was born three years after her sister. The family moved to Washington D.C. in 1889. The sisters had the rich and privileged life and grew up in luxury. The family's summer vacation home had 26 rooms. They had governess and private tutors. The two sisters were sent to a private boarding school outside of Paris, and then back to the US. And the family attended Episcopalian church. The characters of the two sisters were different from an early age. Laura was the one who was diligent, the student - a diligent student, rather shy, who always tried to improve and had serious thoughts. From childhood, she had the sense of duty. Natalie was the opposite. In 1900 when Laura had returned to Paris to continue her education in dramatic arts, she attended a meeting at the home of May Bolles, an American woman living in Paris. May Bolles was among the first group of Westerners who had gone to visit the head of the Bahai faith Abdul Baha in Akka, Palestine, today's Israel, the year before. Abdul Baha was the son of the prophet founder of the Bahai faith. Because of the time limitations I will not talk about the history of the Bahai faith, whose forerunner was the Bab, its founder Baha Alla, who was born in Iran 200 years ago. And because of his teachings he was exiled together with his family and was imprisoned in Baghdad, Adrianople, Istanbul and lastly to the prison city of Akka. Soon after that meeting with May Bolles in Paris Laura traveled with her cousin to Akka to meet the spiritual leader from the East. After a long and difficult trip. After meeting Abdul Baha, she realized that those were the teachings she had been waiting for and she became a believer in the Bahai faith. Laura's attraction to this new faith were most likely because of the principles of equality between sexes and the belief in the oneness of God and oneness of humanity. She returned to Akka after a few months. On her second visit, Abdul Baha asked her to accompany Abdul Fadl Gulpaygani an Iranian scholar to the West. Abdul Faz was the most rooted and the greatest Bahai scholars living in Egypt at that time. She accompanied him to Paris with a translator and after a stay of three months she accompanied him to the US. Laura and her mother paid for his expenses. During his stay Laura deepened her knowledge of this new faith and started learning Persian. In Washington Alice Barney, Laura's mother had become interested in the Bahai faith and its teachings and held meetings at her home for Abdul Faz. She painted a portrait of him which is now at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Arts. There were always write ups about the Barney family in the local and even the national newspapers given their social status. An article in the Washington Post of March 1902 read "Ms. Laura Barney, who is a Bahai'st as are other members of Alice Clifford Barney's family, says that at Akka one sees demonstrated both in the family and the religious life the harmony and love which is one of the pivotal principles of the teachings of Bahai'ism". And sometimes the news they covered in the newspapers gave incorrect information. Laura was never amused, but this was what she had to tolerate. Gossip magazines printed several untrue and false articles about Laura's mother and made fun of Laura. Her father who cared about people's opinion about his family and their social standing was not happy to see the articles and he decided to close the house where the meetings were held. Another incident that made him furious was that the year before the news of the publication of a book by Natalie which had reached him. Natalie, Laura's sister was an author, poetess, a rebel and later held literally salons in Paris for about 60 years. She was openly gay and her published book was about lesbian women with drawings done by her mother, which caused much grief for the father who went to Europe to collect all published copies. Albert's wife and his two daughters were following unconventional lifestyles and was too much on his health. He was outraged with the news of his family and had the second heart attack and died in 1902. The father left his wife and two daughters a fortune. Laura returned several more times to Akka between 1904 and 1906. And spent weeks and sometimes months there. Posing questions to Abdul Baha. Laura was deepening her knowledge of the Bahai teachings and asking deep philosophical questions. In 1906 at the request of Abdul Baha Laura who was only 27 years old traveled to Iran, the birth place of her faith to meet the Bahai's there. She was accompanied by Hippolyte Dreyfus. Hippolyte Dreyfus was the first French man from Paris who had become a Bahai. Hippolyte had studied law and had a doctoral degree and was practicing before the Paris Court of Appeals. He later gave up his legal career to devote himself to oriental studies, comparative religion and learning Arabic and Persian intending to translate the Bahai writings. Laura also had the chaperone and escort, a French Bahai lady who accompanied her on this trip. They first traveled to Ashgabat in Turkmenistan where a Bahai House of Worship was being built. They met the Bahai's there. Then they continued on to Iran. She was the first Western Bahai woman and Hippolyte the first Western Bahai man to visit Iran. Their stay lasted over five weeks and most of the cities they visited had historical Bahai significance. In each city they met with dignitaries, government officials, prominent people and many of whom were Bahai's. Laura said that she was delighted to meet the crowds. Upo arrivalin Iran they spent one night in Vazvan, the birth place of Tahirih, the Persian Poetess.In Tehran she met another Iranian scholar, [Inaudible]. He was originally from Hamadan and was an Islamic scholar who had converted to the Bahai faith. She spent several days and long hours engaged in asking questions. After a grand reception in Tehran, she wrote "Of course this spiritual quality and rarified atmosphere of such Heavenly assemblies were the distinguished members of the west and east gathered together in such a loving environment can neither be described nor recorded It should only be seen". While in Tehran Laura sent a letter to her mother reassuring her that she should not worry about her. Stating that Iran was "one of the most peaceful countries that she had seen". In another letter she wrote that the Bahai's there were wonderfully sincere and kind and the people she met were among the most important people of Persia. In Asfahan the delegation was hosted by [Inaudible], was the Vazir of Asfahan with responsibilities for government finances in that promise some years earlier. He was well known to be a Bahai. [Inaudible] was one of the notables of Asfahan who had also become a Bahai. They arrived in Tabriz with [Inaudible] and were welcomed and greeted by Bahai's. The governor and the agent of the crown prince had asked that a person be present at every gathering they attended. His son met with them and asked them many questions. He made comments about Ms. Barney's command of Persian and the fact that she had no accent like other foreigners. And he said that she spoke better than many educated Iranians. They also visited Maku, the city of Maku is well known in the Bahai history for its fort where the Bab was imprisoned for nine months in 1847. He was later executed by firing squads in Tabriz. They had to cut their stay short because the constitutional revolution was under way. She wrote later that "Many of our brothers and sisters did not get a chance to meet us". Being the first woman from the west, the first Bahai woman from the west who visited Iran, her trip must have opened the minds of the Iranian women as to what the western women were doing. According to the star of the west a Bahai magazine her journey to Iran brought much enthusiasm and passion to the hearts of the lovers of God. And Laura Barney's services in the course of that visit were considered distinguished. Iranians looked up to westerners and their presence in Iran in those years must have been something special with long-term effect. Several American newspapers reported about this trip. The Washington Herald reported that "Ms. Barney is a young woman of many gifts. And is indulged with originality and executive talent. In addition to her perfect mastery of French, she has gained vast knowledge in the Persian language in which she writes, reads, translates and speaks fluently. Her devotion to the Bahai movement speaks for her broad mindedness and proves her ardent desire to serve humanity". It continued "For this philosophy she considers an efficient means to that end. Her house in Paris has been a delightful center and a gathering place for all those interested in the higher problems of humanity". After her return from Iran she traveled to Akka. And asked explicit permission from Abdul Baha to publish her collection of questions and answers. The questions were hers from her Christian perspective, which she had asked during her long stays in Akka, and the answers were by Abdul Baha. He granted permission after every page of the book was read, approved and stamped by his special seal. The Seal that was used for his authoritative writings. And that is why the book that she compiled became a Bahai Holy Book. The book that she compiled was some answered questions in English and [Inaudible] in Persian and both were published in 1908. Some of the topics dealt with the prophets of God, the soul, fate, man's destiny, immortality and life after death. In this book she also had posed questions related to Christianity, such as Birth of Christ, his resurrection, Baptism and the Trinity. Her book became an essential and significant book for understanding the basic belief of the Bahai's. And introduced this faith to the west. It was her greatest accomplishment and achieved immortal fame in the Bahai world over. Laura also collaborated with Hippolyte to translate the book into French, which was also published in 1908. The book that she had comprised is translated into 13 languages and have been reprinted many times. The last one in 2014. Soon after that in 1909 she wrote a drama called "Gods Heroes, a drama in five acts". And the script was published the following year. This was Laura's defensive reaction to protect the Bahai faith and the Bab. It seems that a French playwright intended to write a play about the Bab and to have Sarah Bernhardt the renowned French stage actress play the role of the Great Babi Bahai heroine, the poetess Tahirih. Tahirih meaning the pure one, she also had the title of [Inaudible] consolation of the eyes. Who was executed at the young age in 1852? Laura was shocked by the thought of what they would show on the Paris stage with the life of the Bab. That caused her to write this play. It was written around the life of Tahirih and was illuminated in Persian style. The protocol among the theater people was that if someone was working on a subject then no one else would touch it. Newspapers in the US printed articles about this publication. The Boston Globe printed an article in 1910 with the heading of "Girl Writes Persian Play for Parisians" referring to the political circumstances in Iran at that time. It stated "This Persian crisis has drawn much attention to the new play written by an accomplished and learned American girl, Ms. Laura Clifford Barney for the theater the season". It continued "God's heroes is a play dealing exclusively with the modern history of Persia. The play while dealing with the modern subject is a Medieval spirit. It savors of the miracle or mystery plays, Ms. Barney knows Persian almost as well as she knows French or English. Hence the rich oriental metaphors one finds in the play and the flights of imagination such as our scene in the [Inaudible] even the very shades of meanings are well brought out". It was in 1911, that Laura and Hippolyte got married and they adopted the last name of Hippolyte Dreyfus. They had known each other since 1900 and had collaborated together and had realized that they had common aspirations. The same year Abdul Baha who had been freed and had gone to Egypt traveled to the West for the first time. A trip which Laura had the major role. She had invited him and it was her husband who met him in Marseilles when he arrived on the continent of Europe. Laura and her husband were with him during his stay in [Inaudible] in France, a town by Lake Geneva where he stayed for a few days. And then they accompanied him on several side trips. They accompanied him to Switzerland and later to England. In London Lady Blumfield, Abdul Baha's hostess wrote "Foremost amongst our visitors were Monsieur and Madam Dreyfus Barney, the brilliant French scholar and his no less brilliant American wife who spoke Persian with Abdul Baha, translated for him and were altogether helpful, courteous and charming". When Abdul Baha later traveled to Paris he stayed in an apartment, but he spent a good deal of time at the home of Dreyfus Barney's. Abdul Baha traveled to North America in 1912 and visited Washington D.C. three times. And the home of Laura's mother Studio House at least three times. And addressed the guests there. Laura accompanied him on several of his visits during one of his trips to Washington D.C. He returned to Paris in January 1913 after his visit in America. The Dreyfus Barney's again hosted him at many meetings and accompanied him on this trip too. They were with him with the Orientalist Edward G. Brown and his wife visited him. Laura and Hippolyte started a trip to regions of Eastern Asia towards end of 1913. They visited Japan, Korea and China and had planned to travel to India, Persia and back to France. But while they were in China on Yenges River World War I broke out and they were forced to return to US and then back to Paris. During the war Laura served with the American Ambulance Core which was basically the American Hospital in Paris. And Hippolyte assumed his military obligations as a member of the French Army. Laura also volunteered her services with the Red Cross and helped with the refugees in several regions in Southern France. And she was also the co-founder of the first Children's Hospital Avignon. Laura was made a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, the highest French decoration created by Napoleon for her work among the wounded in World War I. And later she was promoted to the Officer of the French Legion of Honor. At the end of the war they visited Abdul Baha before embarking on their trip that they had cut short earlier because of the war. They spent about a year and a half traveling from Marseilles to Egypt, Dutch Indies which is today's Indonesia, into China they visited Miramar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, Singapore and India. While in India they had an audience with Mahatma Gandhi. And it was in Rangoon Burma that they heard the news of the passing of Abdul Baha in 1921. After her return Laura became active with the League of Nations. The predecessor of the United Nations. The League of Nations was the first international organization whose principle mission was to maintain world peace. She chose to work in social and humanitarian arenas in line with the principles she had accepted. She also became an active member of the International Council of Women and was its representative at the League of Nations for almost all of her - the remainder of her life. Having seen the horrors of war firsthand she said "In a way all these horrors are a good thing for the future generations. Who see what war means. Not simply chivalry and medals. I think that women will be great help to get out of this horrible habit of the past". Laura lost her husband Hippolyte in 1928. She was not yet 50 years old when she became a widow and they had no children. She lost her mother a few years later. She organized an annual exhibition of her mother's art work in Washington D.C. and the First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended the exhibition opening. She also established a memorial fund and a trust in the name of her mother. And donated her paintings to museums mostly to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. For the remainder of her life. She rendered many services with numerous responsibilities. One of her responsibilities in those years was serving on the International Committee on intellectual corporation. A committee that was the precursor of [Inaudible]. Some of the distinguished people who had worked with this committee were Albert Einstein, Marie Currie, Henry Berksen, Bella Bartuke, Thelma Mann and many others. She was also the vice president of disarmament committee which was formed by 14 major international women organizations working tirelessly with the League of Nations which was active in Geneva up to the start of World War II. In the 1930's Laura traveled across Canada and gave talks at several major cities. She was invited also to visit Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey and Greece and gave talks. As a brilliant speaker she gave her talks at universities, national libraries and clubs, talking about peace, disarmament and bringing people of different cultures together. One newspaper reporter wrote about her. It was she, the American woman transplanted to France who was able to put her roots down there to serve a greater homeland. That of men of good will whose prestigious adventures of the spirit I wanted to know. Then the reporter continued, "Madam Dreyfus Barney's astonishing personality and her lucid intelligence are self-evident". I admired this elite woman who knows how to think globally at a time when so much hatred and so many minds make brothers into enemies and once again the threat of war returns. Another newspaper article stated "Madam Dreyfus Barney teaches by example". Are not the very tone of her advocacy the nature of her arguments the very proof of this? As an American woman a quarter Jewish, and Dreyfus as her families last name, her husband's family name she was encouraged to leave France at the onset of World War II. She traveled to Washington D.C. in 1940 and stayed here for six years. Upon her arrival after visiting a photography exhibition at the Library of Congress, she wrote an article titled "In a Library" reflecting on the war. She wrote "During this cruel period we know that we must remain united in our services to others. Then the end of the war will find us strong before the realities of life". During those six years in the US she remained active. She served on several national and international boards. She became the co-founder of the Institute of War Organization, a permanent center in Washington for the study and dissemination of the principles and methods of world organization. It was sponsored by a group of distinguished men and women known for their interests in international affairs. More than 20 of whom were representatives of universities throughout the country. That same year Laura Barney served as a member of the United States Delegation to the conference of the commission of intellectual corporation held in Havana, Cuba. Laura was invited to attend the international congress of women that was taking place in Iran in 1967. She was invited by the sister of the Shah who was the vice president of the International Council of Women at that time. Laura was very interested to return to Iran but her health did not allow her. She was 81years old at the time. She stayed active until the end of her life. In her later years her mind was still sharp even though her body was handicapped by rheumatism and the side effects of a fall from a horse during her childhood that had stayed with her and caused her to limp all her life. Laura died in August 1974 in Paris at the age of 94. And according to her wishes she was buried in the same plot as her sister Natalie in the cemetery. The two sisters had selected different paths in life from early on, but Laura remained devoted and close to her sister despite their differences. Newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic such as the Herald Tribune, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lamond and Le Figero announced her death. Someone who knew Laura Barney well wrote, "With her keen intelligence, logical mind and investigative nature she devoted her whole life from adolescence to improving human relations bringing people of the different races, classes and nations together". He continued, "Those who had the rare privilege of knowing her over a period of many decades can testify that her on daunted zeal for the objective of brotherhood of man remained alive and glowing to the very last day of her life on earth". Laura Dreyfus Barney challenged many of her immediate social circles and selected a path different from what her social milieu would have dictated. She could have selected a much easier path in life, but she had an intense attraction to the teachings that had come from Iran. She had said "But he has told us not to keep to ourselves alone what he has entrusted to us for humanity". This is a glimpse into the life of a privileged American woman who followed the teachings of a spiritual leader from Iran. She tried to bring the world closer together, helped create mutual understanding and not only between the people of the west and the east, but the rest of the world and devoted her life to humanitarian activities. Thank you very much for your patience and thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you some parts of my research, and to talk about one aspect of Laura Dreyfus Barney's life that of her connections with Iran and Iranians. Thank you so much. [ Applause ] >> Thank you Mona. Thank you everyone for being here especially on a lunch break. I also want to take a second and ask Mona to say something about the books she brought in as well. >> Mona Khademi: The books I brought are her books that have been published. There are some answered questions in English, in Persian and God's Heroes, a Drama in Five Acts the 1910 print of it. >> Thank you. We have time for some questions, feel free to ask and I will be glad to repeat them in the microphone. [ Inaudible question ] >> Before discovering the house had you had heard of Laura before? >> Mona Khademi: Yes I knew that she was a Bahai and I knew she had written a book. But that was basically what I knew. I didn't know much about her mother, whether she was a Bahai or not. I don't - I didn't know any details of her life at the time. Thank you. >> Any other questions? Don't be shy. >> Thank you everyone. [ Inaudible question ] >> What was the most attractive thing to her, to the Bahai faith for her? >> Mona Khademi: You know I think I mentioned it in my talk, I think the activities that she picked up for rest of her life and she devoted her time to it, maybe those were what attracted her to - what was she attracted to. The equality of men and women. She believed in that from the beginning and also the fact that humanity is one. That is one of the main principles of the Bahai faith and she devoted all her life to those two causes. Through the League of Nations and the International Council of Women. >> Go ahead. [ Inaudible question ] >> Did she leave any written material about her observations from her visits to Iran? >> Mona Khademi: You know she left Paris at the start of World War II. She was in America for six years. When she returned to Paris many things were stolen from her apartment, including her notes and diaries of her visits to Akka, meetings with Abdul Baha, many material belongings but she said that the most important were her notes of all those years that she wanted to publish and she had already asked for permission to publish. Those were all stolen, so whatever I have found is through her letters to other family members, to her sister or to her mother. I refer to some of them in my talk. But nothing else written with details of her trip to Iran. [ Inaudible question ] >> Compilation of her public talks? >> Mona Khademi: There is no compilation but I do have some of them. I have seen some of her talks. That requires further research because as I said she traveled across Canada, she traveled in many Middle Eastern Countries and gave talks, one needs to do further research going into either archives of those countries or through the organization that she traveled with to find the transcript of those talks. [ Inaudible question ] >> Mona Khademi: You know since I've started my research in the year 2000 I have given talks and published some papers and even a chapter of a book. Right now I am working on a full biography of hers, which is two-thirds done and I hope that will be out and in that book I speak in more detail about her other activities like the International Council of Women and the different roles and responsibilities she had with the League of Nations. >> Wonderful. Again thank you very much. I want to say that Mary-Jane and Joan had to step out because they had another meeting to attend to. But are very grateful to have you here. Thank you very much for coming and look forward to seeing you soon. The next program is October 19 on the Genesis of Printing in Afghanistan. Thank you very much. [ Applause ] >> This has been a presentation of the Library of Congress. Visit us at


State decorations

State orders, medals and other decorations are bestowed by the President of Latvia or a person assigned by him on May 4 - Restoration of Independence Day, November 11 - Lāčplēsis Day and November 18 – Proclamation Day of the Republic of Latvia, as well as on other days on special occasions.

The President of Latvia is awarded with the highest order, the Order of the Three Stars, upon starting to hold his office after taking the oath.


Insignia of the Orders

  • the order with the golden chain (only the Order of Three Stars);
  • the Cross of the Commander of the Grand Cross (First Class Order);
  • the Cross of the Grand Officer (Second Class Order);
  • the Cross of the Commander (Third Class Order);
  • the Cross of the Officer (Fourth Class Order);
  • the Cross of the Knight (Fifth Class Order);
  • the Medals of Honour (First Level, Second Level, Third Level).

Medals and other decorations

Other decorations

Order of precedence of decorations

  1. The Order of Three Stars
  2. The Order of Viesturs
  3. The Cross of Recognition
  4. The Medal of Honour of the Order of Three Stars
  5. The Medal of Honour of the Order of Viesturs
  6. The Medal of Honour of the Cross of Recognition
  7. The Commemorative Medal for Participants of the Barricades of 1991
  8. Other awards and foreign awards


This page was last edited on 20 July 2018, at 13:41
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