THE ORDER OF THE LION WAS BELGIANS THIRTH NATIONAL ORDER AND THE SECOND ORDER OF CONGO FREESTATE. THE ORDER BECAME BELGIAN IN 1908 WHEN CONGO FREESTATE BECAME UNDER BELGIAN RULE. ALTHOUGH THE ORDER WAS DISCONTINUED AFTER THE INDEPENDENCE OF CONGO IN 1960, IT STILL EXCISTS TODAY.
The Order of the Lion was instituted by the Royal Degree of 9 April 1891 and 28 July 1891. The order was established by King Leopold II for services rendered in the Belgian Colony Congo. The order was first an independent order of the Congo freestate under Belgian Law but changed to a full Belgian order in 1908 when Congo became under Belgian rule.
The medals of the five first classes have a white enameled cross with a bleu enameled order. In the middle of the cross a waved medaillion is placed on both sides. On the front we find a Beglian lion with bleu enameled background. A metal band holds the motto of Congo free state: 'Travaille et Progress'. On the back we find the monogram of Leopold II with a red enameled background on the medaillion. Between the arms of the cross we find galluses. The medal is suspended on a royal crown.
The last class of the order is a round medal with the Belgian lion in front with the motto of Congo Freestate 'Travaille et Progress' on top.
The order was established in six classes:
Medals (Bronze, Silver and Gold)
The first four classes have a golden color and the fifth class has a silver color.
All classes have a purple ribbon with a blue ribbon on each side, with a white stripe in the middle.