Tejano Orders of Chivalry

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Karl I, Rey de Tejas y Fürst von und zu Solms-Braunfels created three Orders of Chivalry for his newly created Kingdom:

(1) The Order of San Antonio de Bexar (Orden de/von San Antonio de Bexar) - Primarily intended as a civil award, to reward government and legal officials. Over time it has also come to be the standard Knighthood granted artists and commercial "barons" as well. The Order is awarded in three grades: Grand Cordon of the Order, Collar of the Order, and Emblem of the Order. All awardees are granted the title of Lord (Senor/Herr) or are advanced in the hierarchy of the nobility if they previously held any such title, along with the pre-nominal use of "de" or "von" and the postnominal letters OSA, with recipients of the Collar ennobled as Viscount (Vizconde/Vizegraf) regardless of previous disctinctions and recipients of the Grand Cordon ennobled as Count (Conde/Graf); of course, since there are occasional female awardees the distinctions are made appropriately. Eventually,Karl's non-reigning descendants came to head this Order.

(2) The Order of the Blue Tejas Star (Orden de la Estrella Azul/des Blauen Sternes de/von Tejas) - This was an award for distinguished or specially meritorious military accomplishments or service, and was consciously modeled after the Hessian Order of Philip the Magnanimous (Orden Phillipps des Groszmutingen), founded in 1840 by Grand Duke Ludwig II of Hesse-Darmstadt, and which underwent several changes in grades and embellishments up through the end of the Mejico-Tejas War of 2004. Initially awarded in three grades (Grand Star, Commander's Star and Member's Star), the most recent embodiment compasses six grades (Grand Star, Knight Commander's Star, Knight's Star, Golden Star, Silver Star, and Copper Star), which may be embellished by swords for wartime awards, silver or golden oakleaves for repeated awards, and a crown for special recognition. Award of the Grand Star also conveys the noble title of Viscount (Vizconde/Vizegraf), the Knight Commander's Star the quasi-noble title of Baron/Freiherr, and the Knight's Star the privilege of the use of the nominal prefix "de" or "von," Many early German immigrants to the new Kingdom were awarded the Member's Star and Karl himself initially headed the Order.

(3) The Order of Independence (Orden de Independencia/von Unabhängigkeit) - Named to commemorate the separation of Tejas from Mejico. This Order originally generally went to members of the clergy or those laity who in some significant sense supported the Church. The Order later was expanded to reward civil officials whose services or achievements were not of such extent or significance as to merit award of the Order of San Antonio de Bexar. The Order was granted in four grades: Grand Star with Golden Oakleaves (Estrella Magnífica con Hojas del Roble de Oro/Groszartiger Stern mit goldenem Eichenlaube), conveying the noble title of Viscount (Vizconde/Vizegraf); Star with Silver Oakleaves (Estrella con Hojas del Roble de Plata/Stern mit silbernem Eichenlaube), conveying the quasi-noble title of Baron/Freiherr; Knight's Star,conveying the non-noble title of Lord (Senor/Ritter); and Star of the Order, conveying the privilege of using postnominal letters OI. Usually, by tradition, the monarch's nearest female relative acted as Patroness of this Order.

Karl and his heirs were ever mindful to remind others of their legitimacy as a royal house by granting noble and quasi-noble titles.

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