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Belgian Congo Service Stars


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The Service Star (French Étoile de service) was a civil decoration in the Congo Free State (and later the Belgian Congo) created by a decree of the king-sovereign, Leopold II, on 16 January 1889. It was given to those non-natives who faithfully and honorably completed a term of service in the Congo. It was the second decoration in terms of precedence, the Order of the African Star.


Type 1 Leopold II 30 mm


Type 2 Gold – Albert I



Type 2 Silver – Albert I



Type 2 Gold – Baudouin



Type 2 Silver– Baudouin




Instituted on November 28, 1910, the Type 2 Service Star was originally awarded for each three-year period of service in Congo. Each additional three-year period entitled the recipient to a silver bar on the ribbon. There are three versions of the Type 2 star: (a) the Albert I, (b) the Leopold III, and (c) Baudouin. Each of the Type 2 versions came in a silver/gilt and silver finish. The obverse of the Albert I and Leopold III versions feature their respective royal ciphers on white enamel. The obverse of the Baudouin version features a gilt star in lieu of the cipher.


The reverse has the motto, TRAVAIL ET PROGRES in the center on white enamel. The Baudouin version after 1955 is bilingual French and Flemish, reading in gilt letters, TRAVAIL ET PROGRES and ARBEID EN VOORUITGANG on six lines with a small gilt star separating the two languages. The first word in French and last word in Flemish are curved along the top and bottom, respectively. There is also a non-enamel reverse for the bilingual Baudouin version.



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Great post with interesting info and nice pictures. Thanks so much for sharing!

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