Rosettes of the World for Medals/Ribbon bars/Clothing wear

A collection of the Worlds Medal/Ribbon Rosettes with information about them, their pictures and names if available. The intent is to gain information about Rosettes, their use and images to share for those interested.

United States Medals with Rosettes

Other US Rosettes

Other Countries

A Fellow Rosette Collector

A Rosette Maker

These below are in my collection
The sizes are from 10-13mm--3/8 to 1/2 inch
                   Rosettes are=BH=Button Hole--RR=ribbon bar Rosette, size app. 3/8 in.-CB=clutch-back

 PAGE 1 US Military

PAGE 2 US Military

PAGE 3 is U.S. Civilian

PAGE 4 is US Government






                    Some of the info below was taken from a Discussion of Rosettes on the OMSA web site
American rosettes were in common usage immediately after WW I, many yet signaled membership in American fraternal or hereditary societies, such as the one ones shown above in the US section, I am aware of only one still in use for the US Military, the Medal of Honor, Only a few federal awards for civilians are bestowed with a rosette ( a few examples are shown), though most now come with the more common enamaled lapel device.
Why are they not made anymore-The obvious problem is the cost-- there are three different ribbons used in any rosette, so having to custom weave three very special ribbons is a very expensive undertaking. The manufacturer had a minimum of I think 100 yards of each of the three ribbons, which required a complete reconfiguration of their loom. Plus, the purchaser had to up front all of the ribbon costs, plus the cost of the rosettes, which I think was about $6 each.

The term comes from the Old French rosette as a diminutive for “rose.”  As far back as 1790, English speakers were referring to rose shaped bunches of ribbons as rosettes. These rosettes were often purely ornamental, denoting no particular honors or recognition, as is still the case with some modern rosettes. The use of rosettes in honors appears to have begun around 1802 with Napoleon and the Legion of Honor.
The circular bowknot [Rosette] (a circular construction of ribbon) dates from 1802, when it was first presented with the Legion of Honor. It was initially presented with the medal so that honorees would have something to wear when wearing a medal might not be appropriate. The bowknot started out quite large, and shrank down to be a more manageable size by 1850. When protocol precludes the wearing of medals, honorees with bowknots can wear their rosettes. In some cases, the bowknot may be pinned to the medal's ribbon at the time of presentation.

Rosettes are ornamental devices made from ribbon which is pleated or crimped to form a shape which suggests a flower. Often, a rosette may be decorated with trailing ribbons as well. Numerous governments and organizations give out rosettes to recognize significant achievements, ranging from taking first place in a horse show to being injured in combat.

A rosette's colors and pattern may discreetly reveal whether the wearer's forebears landed in America with the Pilgrims (pink and white, the Mayflower Society), whether an ancestor was an officer in the Continental Army (pale blue and white, the Society of the Cincinnati) or whether he is descended from one of the 25 nobles who, in 1215, forced King John to sign Magna Carta (crimson and yellow, the Baronial Order of Magna Carta).
Other rosettes may indicate membership in the Brook Club in Manhattan, support for the Christian Broadcasting Network or generosity to the United Way.

Typically, silk and satin are used to make rosettes, although silk rosettes are more traditional. These glossy textiles can give rosettes a living look and feel as they reflect light. The ribbons used can be any color or combination of colors, although specific colors have certain meanings. These meanings change from nation to nation, especially with military medals, which can lead to confusion. In some cases, a space may be left in the middle of the rosette, so that honors can be written out or printed. If trailing ribbons are included, they are usually color coordinated with the primary rosette.

People who have received rosettes as part of honors or awards can wear or display them. Many people wear the rosettes when they are awarded, and move them to a display case along with other mementos afterwards. Typically, military honors may be worn at formal occasions, while rosettes given out as prizes are generally not worn. Ornamental rosettes are usually significantly smaller than those awarded for honors, and they are often sewn into garments.

Eric Bush 2009

created 2009
updated 01/2010