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Stick Pin Insignia ~The Order of The Garter
by: Anonymous

The Most Noble Order of the Garter is an English order of chivalry with a history stretching back to medieval times; today it is the world's oldest national order of knighthood in continuous existence and the pinnacle of the British honours system.

Its membership is extremely limited, consisting of the Sovereign and not more than twenty-five full members, or Companions. Male members are known as Knights Companions, whilst female members are known as Ladies Companions (not Dames, as in most other British chivalric orders).

The Order can also include certain extra members (members of the British Royal Family and foreign monarchs), known as "Supernumerary" Knights and Ladies. The Sovereign alone grants membership of the Order; the Prime Minister does not tender binding advice as to appointments, as he or she does for most other orders.

As the name suggests, the Order's primary emblem is a garter bearing the motto "Honi soit qui mal y pense" (which means "Shame on him who thinks ill of it") in gold letters.

The Garter is an actual accessory worn by the members of the Order during ceremonial occasions; it is also depicted on several insignia.

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