NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gets Latvia's highest award

June 11 sees NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg in Rīga to attend the 'B9' summit of eastern flank states. However, that's not the only reason for him being in town – he's also collected the Order of the Three Stars, Latvia's highest state decoration.

Following the ceremony to bestow the order upon him there was a brief press conference, with coverage provided by Latvian Television. 


The Order of the Three Stars is a Maltese cross with white enamel and a gilded edge. At the centre of the front of the cross is a blue-enamel medallion in a stylised gilded frame. In the middle of the medallion, there are three gold stars to symbolise the merger of the historical regions of Kurzeme, Vidzeme, and Latgale under the flag of the Republic of Latvia. On the reverse of the cross, there is a gilded medallion with the motto “Per aspera ad astra,”  (Latin: "Through hardships to the stars") and the text “Latvijas Republika – 1918. gada 18. novembris”. (The date of the founding of the independent Latvian state).
Order of the Three Stars
Order of the Three Stars

The Order of the Three Stars is awarded to people for meritorious service related to state, local government, public, cultural, educational, scientific, sports-related or economic activities, including foreign heads of state or government, leaders of international organisations, foreign ambassadors, and other foreign officials.

You can find out more about the history of the award here.

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