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Need help to ID Dutch medal

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Does any of you gentlemen know what kind of medal this is?

Hello Kvart,

According to my referencework "Onderscheidingen " Bussum 1985, is your medal " de vrijwilligersmedaille ( 1985)" It's a volunteer medal for long service ( 10 years or more) as a volunteer with a reserve unit.

kind regards,


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Hello Kvart,

According to my referencework "Onderscheidingen " Bussum 1985, is your medal " de vrijwilligersmedaille ( 1985)" It's a volunteer medal for long service ( 10 years or more) as a volunteer with a reserve unit.

kind regards,


Sorry, Error :"De vrijwilligersmedaille" was instituted in 1958, not in 1985

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Thank you :)

Is it possible to find more information about it in English? For example, why is there a snake at the lower end? What does the snake symbolize?

Hello again,Kvat.

You can find a website, I'm afraid in Dutch, at www.onderscheidingen.nl/nl/index.html. . I saw the medal could be awarded by police, fire brigade, National reserve Corps, Dutch Red Cross, Volunteers Nederlandse Antillen.....

So far, I wasn't able to find a dutch website with English section. Maybe a Dutch user gentleman might help?

Kind regards,


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Vrijwilligersmedaille Openbare Orde en Veiligheid

Public order and security volunteer medal

Established by Royal Decree no. 288 of 14th June 1958 as a volunteer medal.

By ministerial decision of 2nd February 1998 (Bulletin of Acts, Orders and Decrees 68) this became legal and was provided with its current denomination.

The medal is granted to those, whose joint service or with a discontinuance of at the most two months during a period of ten years in repressive service tasks in the field of the public order and security have performed as a volunteer for:

-The police force;

- Overheidsbrandweer; (Fire Brigade)

- A brandweer (Fire service) of an institution as far as this brandweer fulfils tasks in pursuance of a regulation with the government for the overheidsbrandweer;

- The corps national Reserve (the military reserve);

- Organisations for life-saving from drowning;

- Ambulance service;

- The Dutch Red Cross;

- The national association for first aid, the royal Dutch association first aid or EHBO-Nederland;

- The volunteer corps of the Netherlands Antilles

The medal is manufactured from bronze and has a diameter of 35mm.

The front shows a wall with sunrays above. On the wall the words "PATRIAE SERVIRE LIBERTAS". At the bottom is a snake.

On the reverse the Dutch emblem is represented.

The medal is linked by means of a ring to the ribbon.

The ribbon is 33mm wide. The colour is green with orange stripes 1mm from the borders 2mm wide.

There is no clear definition of the colours green and orange.

There are two different colour ribbons described.

The first type was dark green with egg yolk orange edges. The Second, and current type, is poision green with dark orange edges.

For continuous service or with a discontinuance of at the most two months during a period of fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, thirty-five respectively forty years of performed service as a volunteer, a number in roman numerals is worn on the ribbon, of which the last received year attachment device is always worn.

I assume that the snake has a medical representational meaning as this medal is awarded to the Dutch ambulance service and Dutch Red Cross too.

Regards Eddie

Edited by Taz
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hello gents,

as far as I know from the ministerial decisions it is as following:

The 1958 up to 1998 model (with model I mean the collor of the ribbon and what it was decorated for):

- for personel of the national reserve, reserve bordertroops, Marechausse-reserve (military police reserve), the arial defence force, Rijkspolitie force (the national police, don't know the exact translation), the gemeentepolitie force(local police force, don't known exact translation), emergency guard and emergency guard staff.

Don't know if translations are correct, especially the last ones.

given for 10 years of voluntary service within these groups.

it was called: ''vrijwilligermedaille'' (''volunteers medal'').

from 1998 it was called ''vrijwilligersmedaille openbare orde en veiligheid'' (''volunteers medal for public order and security'')


-the collor of the stripes on the ribbon

-It was given to the people as mentioned in the earlier posts.

-the medal itself could, from then on, got a bronze bar on the ribbon (with inscriptions like XV, XX, XXV, XXX, XXXV, XL)

this was for people that continuously served among those groups for 15, 20, 25, 30,35 and 40 years, given the fact that during that time , at maximum, had no longer than 2 months of not serving among those groups( don't know if this is clear, but I mean they coulnd't have ''a break'' longer as 2 months during their service).

So, it started off more as a medal for service as a military reservist, or for police service, then it changed to award others for their (public) service as well.

This medal is collected by many militaria collecters.

A very nice looking medal I must say.

kind regards,


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Thank you so much for your answers :) I would never have learned all this without your help.

Last two questions: what model do I have, the pre- or post 1998? And what would be the English translation of "PATRIAE SERVIRE LIBERTAS"

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looks like the 2nd type of ribbon.

The first type has a different kind of green(Darkgreen), and the orange stripe is more yellow(but still orange),

this one is poison green with orange.

I never studied Latin, but as a historian I come across it often, so I give it my best shot:

Patriae means country/homeland

servire means to serve

Libertas means at own will/at free will

put them togheter and you will form a sentence in latin,

So I think you can say that it means ''to serve his country voluntary''

For West-Europeans Latin shouldn't be to difficult (to read), even if you don't know the exact meanings of the words, as our languages are often a (partialy) ''bastard'' language of it (because of the Roman spreading over Europe and the Catholic church).

In this case, also English shouldn't be to difficult ( I believe English also is a latin based language), you can make the words patriotism, service and Liberty of it (love for your country, service and freedom, so it is not difficult to image what kind of sentence it could be).

A lot of unnessecary off-topic information, but that's how you can ''read'' Latin, for whom wants to know.

kind regards,


Edited by Roeland
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