Ordre des Palmes académiques
The Ordre des Palmes académiques (French for "Order of Academic Palms") is a national order bestowed by the French Republic on distinguished academics and teachers and for valuable service to universities, education and science.[1] Originally established in 1808 by Emperor Napoleon as a decoration to honour eminent members of the University of Paris, it was changed into its current form as an order of merit on 4 October 1955 by President René Coty, making it one of the oldest civil honours bestowed by the French Republic.[2]
Ordre des Palmes académiques

Commander's neck badge and ribbon
Awarded by Ministry of National Education of the French Republic
TypeOrder of merit
EstablishedDecoration: 1808
Order: 1955
Awarded forDistinguished contributions to education or culture
StatusCurrently constituted
Grand MasterPresident Emmanuel Macron[citation needed]
ChancellorJean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of National Education
GradesCommander, 1st Class
Officer, 2nd Class
Member/Knight, 3rd Class
Next (higher)Médaille de la Résistance
Next (lower)Order of Agricultural Merit



The three graded ribbon bars of the Order
The original Palmes académiques was instituted by Napoleon on 17 March 1808.[3] In this sense, it shares its origins with the Legion of Honour which Napoleon had established shortly before.[4]Palmes académiques was established to decorate people associated with the university, including high schools (lycées).[3][5] It was not an order as such, but a title of honour identifiable by its insignia sewn on the recipients' costumes.[6] It was bestowed only upon teachers or professors.[2][7] The original decoration included three classes:[6]
The Titulaires were limited to the grand masters of the university, chancellors, treasurers, and councilors for life. The Officiers de l'Université were ordinary councilors, university inspectors, rectors, academy inspectors, deans and faculty professors. The Officiers d'Académie were headmasters, censors, teachers of the two most distinguished classes of high schools, principals of colleges, and, in exceptional cases, high school teachers or college regents. Those working in primary education were ineligible.[6]
On 9 October 1850, the number of classes was reduced to two:[6][1]
Only those working in education for at least 15 years were eligible. The decoration was conferred by the Minister of Public Instruction on the proposal of rectors after having consulted academic councils.[6]
In 1866, Napoleon III, prompted by Minister of Public Instruction Victor Duruy, widened the scope of the award to include non-teaching persons who had otherwise made contributions to education[5][6] and culture, including foreigners. It was also made available to French expatriates who made major contributions to learning or education in the wider world.[citation needed]
Certificate of Ordre des Palmes académiques
The present Ordre des Palmes académiques was instituted on 4 October 1955 by President René Coty. In 1963 the French system of orders was reformed under President Charles de Gaulle. A number of so-called "ministerial orders" were consolidated into the Ordre national du Mérite. De Gaulle, however, was fond of the Ordre des Palmes académiques and decided to keep it as a separate order.[6] Since 1955, the Ordre des Palmes académiques has had three grades,[3] each with a fixed annual number of new recipients or promotions:[5]
The order is conferred for services to the universities, in teaching or in scientific work.[3] It can be conferred on both French citizens, including those residing abroad, and foreigners. The minimum age of conferment is 35 years. Promotion to a higher grade usually requires five years in the lower rank.[5] The order is administered by a council whose president is the Minister of National Education.[3] Decisions on nominations and promotions are proposed by the minister and formally decided by the Prime Minister. Decisions are announced annually on 1 January, New Year's Day and 14 July, Bastille Day.[5] For those not connected to state-sponsored public education, or the Ministry of National Education, the announcements are made on New Year's Day and for all others on Bastille Day.[citation needed] In 2018, the annual quotas were cut by almost half to their present level.[5]
Notable recipients
See also the categories Chevaliers of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, Officiers of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques, and Commandeurs of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques
French recipients
Foreign recipients
Main article: List of foreign recipients of the Ordre des Palmes Académiques
The badge, unchanged since its creation in 1808, consists of a pair of violet-enamelled palm branches. It is suspended from a plain violet ribbon.[1]
Member/Knight (Chevalier)Officer (Officier)Commander (Commandeur)
  1. ^ a b c Hieronymussen, Poul Ohm (1970). Orders, medals, and decorations of Britain and Europe in colour. London, U.K.: Blandford Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-7137-0445-7. OCLC 768124951.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Décret n°55-1323 du 4 octobre 1955 portant institution d'un ordre des Palmes académiques". Legifrance (in French). French Republic. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hieronymussen, Paul (1967). Orders and Decorations of Europe in Color. Translated by Crowley, Christine. New York: Macmillan. p. 162. OCLC 1150984867.
  4. ^ Sainty, Guy Stair; Heydel-Mankoo, Rafal, eds. (2006). World Orders of Knighthood and Merit. 2. Wilmington: Burke's Peerage & Gentry. p. 1134. ISBN 978-0-9711966-7-4.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i "L'Ordre des Palmes Académiques" (in French). Association des Membres de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Historique des Palmes académiques" (in French). Association des Membres de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Les Palmes académiques, la plus ancienne distinction civile". Le Parisien (in French). 22 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Monique Adolphe". Académie royale de médecine de Belgique (in French). Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  9. ^ Evangelista, Nick (1994). The Encyclopedia of the Sword. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-313-27896-9. OCLC 29954316.
  10. ^ "Les Palmes académiques pour le président de l'Alliance Française de Providence, États-Unis" (in French). Fondation des Alliances Françaises. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Ambassade de France à Bruxelles" (in French). 24 April 2020.
  12. ^ Lawrence, Francis L. Leadership in Higher Education: Views from the Presidency (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, 2006), 345.
  13. ^ "Javad Tatabai". Institut d'études avancées de Paris. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013.
  14. ^ "Former deputy minister Wentworth dies". The Namibian. 5 June 2014. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
Further reading
External links
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ordre des Palmes académiques.
Last edited on 21 July 2021, at 17:50
Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted.
Privacy policy
Terms of Use
 Home Random  Nearby  Log in  Settings  Donate  About Wikipedia  Disclaimers