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The New International Encyclopædia/Eagle, Black

EAGLE, Black. An Order of chivalry in Prussia. It was founded by the Elector of Brandenburg, January 18, 1701—the day of his coronation as King of Prussia. The number of knights, in addition to the royal family, was originally thirty, but it is now unlimited. The Order is conferred for distinguished merit in the military or civil service of the State, and carries with it a patent of nobility. The insignia consist of a Maltese cross of blue enamel, and a black eagle displayed between the arms of the cross. On a circular plaque in the centre is the royal cipher F.R., with a laurel branch below and the words Suum cuique (“To each his own”). The cross is suspended by a broad ribbon of orange color hung across the left shoulder, and with it is worn an embroidered silver star fastened on the left breast. The centre of the star shows a black flying eagle with a laurel wreath and thunderbolt, and the same legend as the cross. Only reigning princes and Knights of Saint John may wear any other Order with the eagle, which is the highest decoration in Prussia.