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Order of Merit

The Order of Merit (OM) is a British honorary institution. It was established in 1902 by King Edward VII as a reward for distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture.

The order is limited to 24 members, but additional foreigners may be added as "honorary members". The order is open to women; Florence Nightingale was the first, in 1907. Members are entitled to the post-nominal OM.

The badge has the appearance of a red Maltese Cross surmounted by a golden crown.

Notable former members:

In October 2002 the members were

The Indian Order of Merit, recognizing individual bravery by Indian military persons, was originally called "Order of Merit" when established in 1837, and was renamed when the present-day Order was established.

See also: British and Commonwealth orders and decorations, British honours system.