Grand Order of Mugunghwa
The Grand Order of Mugunghwa (Korean: 무궁화대훈장) is the highest order awarded by the government of South Korea. It is awarded to the President of South Korea, and it may be awarded to their spouse, heads or former heads of state of South Korean allies, and their spouses. The order is presented for, "Outstanding meritorious services in the interest of promoting the development and security of the Republic of Korea."[1]
Grand Order of Mugunghwa

Rendering of the order insignia.
Awarded by
 South Korea
TypeOrder of merit
EstablishedAugust 13, 1949
President of South KoreaPresident's spouseHead of an ally or his/her spouseFormer head of an ally or his/her spouse
Awarded forOutstanding meritorious services in the interest of promoting the development and security of the Republic of Korea.
Next (higher)none
Next (lower)

Sash riband of the order
Korean name
Revised RomanizationMugunghwa Daehunjang
McCune–ReischauerMugunghwa Daehunjang
The Grand Order of Mugunghwa takes its name from South Korea's national flower, the rose of Sharon. The rose of Sharon is a cultivar native to the Korean peninsula and has great cultural significance in Korean history.[2]
The Grand Order of Mugunghwa consists of "an insignia worn around the neck, a badge affixed to sash worn over the shoulder and a star, with a ribbon and a lapel badge as necessary," according to law.[1] The Grand Order of Mugunghwa may be made of gold, silver, ruby and amethyst. As of 2013, the cost to produce it was approximately 20 million won, or $19,000 USD.[3]
The Grand Order of Mugunghwa is traditionally awarded to the incoming President of South Korea shortly after their inauguration. However, Former President Roh Moo-hyun opted to accept the award upon his departure from office in 2008.[3]
After their conviction for treason in 1996, former president Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo were ordered to return the Grand Order of Mugunghwa along with other state decorations. While Chun agreed to return the awards, he and Roh have yet to actually return them.[citation needed]
By statute, the Grand Order of Mugunghwa is the highest decoration in Korea, however in the eyes of the public it is not as well regarded. Many Koreans feel that the Order has far less significance. This is due to the fact that it is self-awarded and is based on winning an election, not on any positive achievements for the country. There is also the fact that it is given to foreign heads of state, not necessarily because of what they have done for Korea, but for what they may do for Korea in the future.[4]
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1949Syngman RheePresidentSouth Korea
1960Yun PosunPresident
1963Park Chung-heePresident
1964Heinrich LübkePresidentWest Germany
Wilhelmine LübkeFirst lady
1966Ismail Nasiruddin of TerengganuKingMalaysia
Tengku Ampuan Tua Intan ZaharahQueen
Bhumibol AdulyadejKingThailand
Chiang Kai-shekPresidentChina
1967Yuk Young-sooFirst ladySouth Korea
1968Haile SelassieEmperorEthiopia
1969Nguyễn Văn ThiệuPresidentSouth Vietnam
Nguyễn Thị Mai AnhFirst lady
Hamani DioriPresidentNiger
Aissa DioriFirst lady
1970Fidel Sánchez HernándezPresidentEl Salvador
Marie Nade Sánchez HernándezFirst lady
1975Omar BongoPresidentGabon
Josephine BongoFirst lady
1979Léopold Sédar SenghorPresidentSenegal
Colette Hubert SenghorFirst lady
Choi Kyu-hahPresidentSouth Korea
Hong GiFirst lady
1980Khalid of Saudi ArabiaKingSaudi Arabia
Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-SabahEmirKuwait
Chun Doo-hwanPresidentSouth Korea
Lee Soon-jaFirst lady
Siti HartinahFirst lady
Ahmad Shah of PahangKingMalaysia
Tengku Ampuan AfzanQueen
Ferdinand MarcosPresidentPhilippines
Imelda MarcosFirst lady
Rodrigo Carazo OdioPresidentCosta Rica
Estrella Zeledón LizanoFirst lady
1982Samuel DoePresidentLiberia
Mobutu Sese SekoPresidentDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Bobi Ladawa MobutuFirst lady
Abdou DioufPresidentSenegal
Kenan EvrenPresidentTurkey
1983Gaafar NimeiryPresidentSudan
Butina Khalil AbbulhashanFirst lady
Hussein of JordanKingJordan
Queen Noor of JordanQueen
1984Hassanal BolkiahSultanBrunei
Khalifa bin Hamad Al ThaniEmirQatar
Dawda JawaraPresidentGambia
Chilele JawaraFirst lady
Maumoon Abdul GayoomPresidentMaldives
1985Muhammad Zia-ul-HaqPresidentPakistan
Luis Alberto MongePresidentCosta Rica
1986Elizabeth IIQueenUnited Kingdom
Baudouin of BelgiumKingBelgium
1987Ahmed AbdallahPresidentComoros
1988Roh Tae-wooPresidentSouth Korea
Kim Ok-sukFirst lady
Iskandar of JohorKingMalaysia
Tunku Puan ZanariahQueen
1989Richard von WeizsäckerPresidentWest Germany
François MitterrandPresidentFrance
Danielle MitterrandFirst lady
1990Andrés RodríguezPresidentParaguay
Árpád GönczPresidentHungary
1991Azlan Shah of PerakKingMalaysia
Raja Permaisuri BainunQueen
Carlos Salinas de GortariPresidentMexico
1992Jorge Serrano ElíasPresidentGuatemala
1993Kim Young-samPresidentSouth Korea
Son Myung-soonFirst lady
Fidel RamosPresidentPhilippines
Amelita RamosFirst lady
1994Eduardo Frei Ruiz-TaglePresidentChile
Lech WałęsaPresidentPoland
1995Islam KarimovPresidentUzbekistan
Roman HerzogPresidentGermany
Zhelyu ZhelevPresidentBulgaria
Nelson MandelaPresidentSouth Africa
Carlos MenemPresidentArgentina
1996Álvaro ArzúPresidentGuatemala
Fernando Henrique CardosoPresidentBrazil
Juan Carlos I of SpainKingSpain
Queen Sofía of SpainQueen
Tuanku Ja’afarKingMalaysia
Leonid KuchmaPresidentUkraine
1998Kim Dae-jungPresidentSouth Korea
Lee Hee-hoFirst lady
2000Carlo Azeglio CiampiPresidentItaly
Jacques ChiracPresidentFrance
2006Abdelaziz BouteflikaPresidentAlgeria
2007Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-SabahEmirKuwait
Hamad bin Khalifa Al ThaniEmirQatar
2008Roh Moo-hyunPresidentSouth Korea
Kwon Yang-sookFirst lady
2009Nursultan NazarbayevPresidentKazakhstan
Alan GarcíaPresidentPeru
Giorgio NapolitanoPresidentItaly
2011Margrethe II of DenmarkQueenDenmark
2012Carl XVI Gustaf of SwedenKingSweden
Khalifa bin Zayed Al NahyanPresidentUnited Arab Emirates
2013Lee Myung-bakPresidentSouth Korea
Kim Yoon-okFirst lady
Park Geun-hyePresident
2014Susilo Bambang YudhoyonoPresidentIndonesia
2015Ollanta HumalaPresidentPeru
2018Emmanuel MacronPresidentFrance
2019Harald VKingNorway
See also
Orders, decorations, and medals of South Korea
  1. ^ a b "Awards and Decorations Act". Act No. 11690 of March 23, 2013.(in English and Korean) Korea Legislation Research Institute. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  2. ^ Umoh, Kingsley (2014). Taekwondo Poomsae: The Fighting Scrolls: Guiding Philosophy and Basic Applications. Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency. pp. 233–234. ISBN 9781612048017.
  3. ^ a b "Will Pres. Lee accept top gov`t honor before retiring?". The Dong-A Ilbo. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  4. ^ https://koreanmedals.com/
External links
Images of Grand Order of Mugunghwa (in Korean with some English)
Last edited on 14 December 2020, at 23:24
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