The highest of the five Jamaican Orders of the Societies of Honour, the Order of National Hero is given only to Jamaican citizens for “services of the most distinguished nature” to the nation.
It can be awarded either posthumously or on occasion of the recipient’s retirement from active public life.
Recipients are permitted to wear the insignia of the Order, and they are given the style “Right Excellent”.
They are also traditionally honored with a tomb or monument in National Heroes Park, as well as a plaque or shield displayed in some prominent national place, such as the Institute of Jamaica.
The Order of National Hero was created by the “National Honours and Awards Act”, which was passed by Parliament in 1969. This act also designated Paul Bogle, George William Gordon, and Marcus Garvey as the first three recipients of the honour.
The insignia of the Order of National Hero is a twelve-pointed gold and white star, centered on a black enameled medallion. The medallion features the Jamaican coat of arms in gold relief, and it is encircled by the motto of the Order, “He built a city which hath foundations.
” It is typically displayed on a neck ribbon in the national colors of Jamaica (black, gold and green), along with a laurel wreath of gold and green enamel.
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