Order of the White Rose of Finland
  • Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunta
  • Finlands Vita Ros’ orden
Commander of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
Awarded by  Finland
TypeState order
EstablishedJanuary 28, 1919; 105 years ago (1919-01-28)
SeatHouse of the Estates[1]
MottoIsänmaan hyväksi ('For the Good of the Fatherland')
EligibilityFinnish nationals and foreigners[2]
CriteriaDistinguished service to the fatherland[2]
StatusCurrently constituted
FounderCarl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim
Grand MasterAlexander Stubb[1]
ChancellorJussi Nuorteva [fi][1]
Vice-ChancellorKari Jordan [fi][1]
  • Grand Cross
  • First Class Commander
  • Commander
  • First Class Knight
  • Knight
First inductionFebruary 12, 1919[3]
Next (higher)(Order of the White Rose of Finland is the highest order)
Next (lower)Order of the Cross of Liberty

Ribbon of the Order of the White Rose of Finland

The Order of the White Rose of Finland (Finnish: Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunta; Swedish: Finlands Vita Ros’ orden) is one of three official orders in Finland, along with the Order of the Cross of Liberty, and the Order of the Lion of Finland. The President of Finland is the Grand Master of all three orders. The orders are administered by boards consisting of a chancellor, a vice-chancellor and at least four members. The orders of the White Rose of Finland and the Lion of Finland have a joint board.


The Order of the White Rose of Finland was established by Gustaf Mannerheim in his capacity as regent (temporary head of state) on January 28, 1919.[4][5] The name comes from the nine roses argent in the coat of arms of Finland.[6] The order's rules and regulations were confirmed on May 16, 1919,[7] and its present rules date from June 1, 1940. The revised scale of ranks was confirmed most recently in 1985. The original decorations were designed by Akseli Gallen-Kallela. The swastikas of the collar were replaced by fir crosses in 1963, designed by heraldic artist Gustaf von Numers. The honour can be granted for military as well as civilian merit.


The ribbon for all classes is ultramarine, as it is found in the flag of Finland, although officially the statutes do not define the color of the ribbon beyond it being "dark blue".[8] The motto of the order appears on the medallion and is Isänmaan hyväksi (Finnish for 'For the Good of the Fatherland').[2][9]

The President of Finland wears the Grand Cross of the White Rose of Finland with Collar (a neck chain). The Collar is worn four centimetres from either side and hangs at equal distances at the front and back. The Grand Cross and Commander marks are awarded with a breast star.


Diploma of the order

The classes of the order of the White Rose of Finland are:


Generally the Grand Cross with Collar is awarded only to foreign heads of state, e.g. to King Fuad I of Egypt (1935), Charles de Gaulle (1962), Josip Broz Tito (1963) and King Birendra of Nepal (1988). In the case of royals, consorts may be awarded with it. Heirs apparent of Nordic monarchies have also been awarded.[10] The Grand Master may however in principle award it at his pleasure.[11] During World War II Hermann Göring and Joachim von Ribbentrop were exceptionally given the Grand Cross with Collar because Adolf Hitler would not receive orders.[12]

Prime Ministers of Finland customarily receive the Grand Cross. (Certain leftist politicians refused the cross or did not wear it, and the transient term in office of Anneli Jäätteenmäki did not lead to the President awarding the cross.)[13] The Grand Cross is also given to presidents of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court, the Archbishop of Turku and Finland, and the Chancellor of the order.[14]

Recipients list

See also: List of Commanders of the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose of Finland

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by adding missing items with reliable sources.

Selected recipients of the Order of the White Rose of Finland
Year Commander Notes
1919 Finland Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Regent of Finland (1918–1919)
Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces (1918, 1939–1946)
President of Finland (1944–1946)
???? Poland Edward Rydz-Śmigły
1926 Kingdom of Italy Ernesto Burzagli
1930 Czechoslovakia Tomáš Masaryk President of Czechoslovakia
1931 Hungary Miklós Horthy Regent of Hungary
1934 United Kingdom Shaul Tchernichovsky
1939 Nazi Germany Walther von Brauchitsch
1941 Dean Driscoll for services "toward relieving the civilian population of wartorn Finland".[15]
Nazi Germany Hermann Göring politician, military leader
Nazi Germany Eduard Dietl
Nazi Germany Josef Veltjens
1942 Nazi Germany Joachim von Ribbentrop
Japan Hirohito Emperor of Japan[16]
Romania Ion Antonescu
1944 Finland Norman Cameron Moore [17]
1947 United Kingdom Earl Wagner Twitchell
1951 Finland Bernard Aabel in 1948 Aabel became the Assistant Military Attaché in Helsinki, Finland[18]
1955 United Kingdom Sir Thomas Beecham [19]
1960 Finland Jarl Lindfors, 1960
1961 Finland Maggie Gripenberg [20]
1962 France Charles de Gaulle [16]
1963 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Koča Popović
1967 Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser [21]
Hungary Zoltán Kodály
United States Greta Kukkonen first wife of actor Gregory Peck
United States Colonel Wayne J. Moe US Army Attaché
1969 United Kingdom Anne, Princess Royal
1971 Finland Olli Mannermaa
New Zealand Arthur Lydiard
1974 Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf King of Sweden[16]
1976 Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev [16]
1978 Soviet Union Dmitriy Ustinov Marshal of the Soviet Union
1983 Finland Leo Kyntäjä
Finland Walter Werronen
1984 United States Arthur J. Collingsworth
1988 Finland Ensio Seppänen
Nepal Birendra Bir Bikram Shah late king of Nepal[16]
1991 Finland Margareta Steinby [22]
1996 Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej King of Thailand
2003 Finland "Andrew Wilkinson"
2004 Finland Elwin Svenson Executive Director – International Programs, FEMBA/GAP programs, UCLA Anderson School of Management[23]
"for assisting the expansion of Finnish start-up companies through the UCLA Anderson's Global Access Program."[23]
Finland Kalervo Kummola Knight of the Order of White Rose of Finland, ice hockey executive, businessman, and politician[24]
Republic of Ireland Dáithí O'Ceallaigh
Ukraine Viktor Pylypenko historian
2005 Ukraine Kostiantyn Tyshchenko philologist, linguist
2006 Finland Erkki Oja [25]
2007 United States James Cathey
Croatia Rada Borić [26][27]
2008 Australia Tim Purcell
Finland Jim Gilleran Managing Director – Finnforest USA
Finland Simon Beresford-Wylie Chief Executive Officer, Nokia Siemens Networks
2009 Estonia Mart Laar
Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev President of Kazakhstan[28]
Syria Bashar al-Assad [29]
2010 India Rajendra Kumar Pachauri
2011 Finland Henry Tirri Former executive vice president and CTO of Nokia. Henry was a tenured professor of computer science at the University of Helsinki. Henry holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Helsinki, Finland and an honorary doctorate from University of Tampere, Finland.
United States Bob Foster Professor, Director – GAP, UCLA Anderson School of Management[30]
"in recognition of his efforts, through the GAP program, to help Finnish technology companies expand into markets abroad, including the United States"[31] and their advancement "further in corporate development."[30]
2012 Finland Sauli Niinistö President of Finland (2012–2024)
Finland Armi Kuusela Miss Universe 1952
2015 Finland Anna-Maja Henriksson [32]
Finland Tapani Jyrki Tarvainen [33] Chevalier (Knight) of the White Rose of Finland
2016 Finland Pauline Kiltinen Cross of Merit of the Order of the White Rose for the promotion of Finnish culture including the commissioning Rockland the Opera[34]
2017 Finland Helena Yli-Renko [35]
2021 Finland David Yoken [36]
2022 Finland Hanna Vehkamäki
Finland Sanna Marin
2024 Finland Alexander Stubb President of Finland (2024–)

Special honors

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Ritarikuntien organisaatio". Ritarikunnat - Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ja Suomen Leijonan ritarikunnat (in Finnish). January 7, 2022. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunnan ohjesääntö". Ritarikunnat - Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ja Suomen Leijonan ritarikunnat (PDF) (in Finnish). Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Matikkala 2017, pp. 47–49, 497.
  4. ^ "Finnish Orders and Where to Find Them". Tallinn Museum of Orders of Knighthood. December 6, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  5. ^ "The Order of the White Rose of Finland". Presidentti.fi. Retrieved January 23, 2022.
  6. ^ Matikkala 2017, pp. 22, 25, 31.
  7. ^ Matikkala 2017, p. 52.
  8. ^ Matikkala 2017, pp. 44–45.
  9. ^ "History". Ritarikunnat - Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ja Suomen Leijonan ritarikunnat. Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  10. ^ Matikkala 2017, pp. 107–108.
  11. ^ Tetri, Juha E. (March 13, 1994). "Kunniamerkeissä syytä pitäytyä tarkkuuteen". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). p. A 19.
  12. ^ Matikkala 2017, pp. 151–152, 156.
  13. ^ Hämäläinen, Unto (December 11, 2016). "Pätkäpääministerit jäävät ilman suurristiä – presidentin vahva asema näkyy palkitsemisessa". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved September 22, 2022.
  14. ^ Matikkala 2017, pp. 114–115.
  15. ^ "Letter transmitting Order of White Rose", www.ancestry.com, accessed 22 Sep 2015 [1]
  16. ^ a b c d e "Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunnan suurristin ketjuineen ulkomaalaiset saajat". Ritarikunnat (in Finnish). October 9, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  17. ^ For services to the Finnish Government as Naval Adviser 1934-39
  18. ^ "Brian Aabel".
  19. ^ Lucas, John (2008). Thomas Beecham : an obsession with music. Woodbridge, UK: Boydell. p. 330. ISBN 978-1843834021.
  20. ^ Ambegaokar, Saga Mirjam Vuori (2004). "Gripenberg, Maggie". In Cohen, Selma Jeanne (ed.). International Encyclopedia of Dance (1st paperback ed.). New York, New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-195-17369-7.  – via Oxford University Press's Reference Online (subscription required)
  21. ^ "Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunnan suurristin ketjuineen ulkomaalaiset saajat - Ritarikunnat" (in Finnish). October 9, 2020. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  22. ^ "Eva Margareta STEINBY". Archived from the original on November 15, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Carrillo, Sandybeth, "Vice chancellor emeritus receives recognition overseas: Finland awards Svenson for work with international Anderson program", Daily Bruin, UCLA, 2005 January 10.
  24. ^ Koski, Juha (November 27, 2017). "Vuoden 2017 Yritysjohtaja on Harri Sjoholm Elinkeinovaikuttaja Kalervo Kummola". Tampere Chamber of Commerce (in Finnish). Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  25. ^ Hasani, Ilire; Hoffmann, Robert. "Oja Erkki". Academy of Europe. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  26. ^ "Meet Rada Boric, Croatia". Nobel Women's Initiative. November 25, 2022. Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  27. ^ "Radi Borić uručeno finsko odlikovanje". Suomi ulkomailla: Kroatia (in Croatian). Retrieved April 1, 2024.
  28. ^ "Nursultan Nazarbayev was awarded the highest award - the Order of the "Finnish White Rose and the Finnish Lion"". e-history.kz (in Russian). Retrieved June 28, 2022.
  29. ^ "IS: Syyrian sotarikoksista syytetyllä presidentillä Suomen korkein kunniamerkki". Savon Sanomat (in Finnish). September 20, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2023.
  30. ^ a b Bensley, Lucas (January 12, 2012). "From 'professor' to knighted 'sir': UCLA's Bob Foster is honored by Finland". Daily Bruin. pp. 1, 4. Retrieved June 7, 2023.
  31. ^ Press release, UCLA Anderson School of Management, 2011 December 20.
  32. ^ "Itsenäisyyspäivän kunniamerkit". Turun Sanomat. December 2, 2015.
  33. ^ "6.12.2015 annetut kunniamerkit". January 6, 2021.
  34. ^ "Kiltinens are well deserving of many honors received". The Mining Journal. January 15, 2016.
  35. ^ "Muistokirjoitus | Helena Yli-Renko 1972–2021". Helsingin Sanomat (in Finnish). April 29, 2021. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  36. ^ "Turun ammattikorkeakoulun henkilökunnalle myönnetty kunniamerkkejä". Turun Ammattikorkeakoulu (in Finnish). Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  37. ^ a b Tetri, Juha E. (2003). Kunniamerkkikirja (in Finnish) (3. täyd. ed.). Ajatus. p. 52. ISBN 978-951-20-6404-5.

Works cited

Further reading