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eMedals-United States. A Military Order of Foreign Wars of the Gold Membership Badge, c.1895

Item: EG1397

United States. A Military Order of Foreign Wars of the Gold Membership Badge, c.1895

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United States. A Military Order of Foreign Wars of the Gold Membership Badge, c.1895

In Gold with red and blue enamels, weighing 18.7 grams, both sides with an eight-pointed red star, with five emanating rays between each star point, obverse with an eagle in the centre, reverse with a centerpiece bearing an anchor with crossed swords and inscribed "DEUS ET LIBERTAS" (God and Liberty), measuring 40 mm (w) x 46.5 mm (h) inclusive of its wreath suspension, intact enamels, extremely fine.

Footnote: The Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States (MOFW) is one of the oldest veterans' and hereditary associations in the nation with a membership that includes officers and their hereditary descendants from all of the Armed Services. Membership is composed of active duty, reserve and retired officers of the United States Armed Services, including the Coast Guard, National Guard, and allied officers, and their descendants, who have served during one of the wars in which the United States has, or is engaged, with a foreign power. The Order was founded on December 13, 1894 in the office of Frank M. Avery in the Tribune Building in New York City. The first signer of the Order's ""Institution"" (founding document) was Major General Fitz John Porter who was a veteran of both the Mexican War and the Civil War. Eighteen others signed the Institution of which five were Mexican War veterans, nine were descendants of American Revolutionary War officers and four who were descendants of officers who served in the War of 1812. The resultant Order was initially known as the Military and Naval Order of the United States and was organized and later incorporated under that name. Its hereditary line of descent spans the period of American history since national independence during the Revolutionary War. Initially, membership in the Order was limited to officer veterans (and their hereditary descendants) of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War. In addition, there is a requirement that ancestors who were militia officers must have had active service during wartime. Although there were many individuals who served as officers in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars who were living at the time of the Order's founding, that service did not qualify them for membership, as those wars were considered to be domestic rather than foreign wars. In April 1895, the name of the Order was officially changed to its present name, The Military Order of Foreign Wars of the United States (MOFW). By the end of 1896, commanderies had been formed in seven states. The MOFW was patterned after the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS) which was a military society for officers, and their descendants, who had served the Union during the American Civil War. As MOLLUS had restricted its membership to officers who had served in one particular war, the need was felt to have an organization for the descendants of officers who had served in the American Revolution, War of 1812 and the Mexican War, as well as the few surviving Mexican War veterans who were officers. The influence of the Order spread rapidly and soon commanderies (state level organizations) were formed in other states. It was deemed advisable to form a National Commandery to centralize and coordinate the activities of the various state commanderies, and which would have general supervision and control over the policies and activities of the Order. The National Commandery was founded at a joint meeting of the individual state commanderies in March 1896 and General Alexander S. Webb was elected as the first Commander General. The motto of the Military Order of Foreign Wars is the Latin phrase ""Deus et Libertas"", meaning""God and Liberty"". The War and Navy Departments, and later the Department of Defense, under various resolutions of Congress, gave recognition to the Order and permitted the wearing of its insignia on uniforms. 

This offering is a part of the "Dr. Albert Goodwin Collection", a preeminent assemblage of world Orders, Medals, and Decorations composed solely by Dr.Goodwin between 1946-1967. Dr. Goodwin had a successful career as an educator and prominent physician in New York as well as actively serving in both World Wars with the United States Medical Corps. He acted as both President and Vice-President of the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) and is responsible for organizing their first convention in 1960. He maintained further membership with the American Society of Military Collectors, the International Orders Research Society, and the American Numismatic Society. His knowledge and passion for history and awards is evident in this meticulously compiled collection that is now available in its entirety for the first time exclusively on eMedals.com.

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