Orders of Westarctica
The Orders of Westarctica are a series of awards (also called "honors") created to recognize exceptional achievements related to the nation of Westarctica, reward dedication and service to the Crown or government, and strengthen bonds of friendship between Westarctica and its foreign allies. The Orders of Westarctica are the means for the Grand Duke to recognize and reward citizens and foreign dignitaries. Westarctica's sovereign is the font of honor and the only person authorized to bestow knighthoods, however, His Royal Highness has permitted several regional awards to be created and bestowed by authorized members of the Hereditary Nobility on a case-by-case basis.
Current orders of chivalry
The current system is made up of four orders of chivalry. With the exception of the Order of the Snowflake and the Order of the Orca, the 02 April 2005 Royal Decree Revising the Orders of Westarctica establishes the protocol of each order such as the size of the order, the use of post-nominal letters and insignia design and display.
|Complete name||Ranks||Regalia||Established||Awarded to/for|
|Illustrious Antarctic Order of the Orca||Knight/Dame||10 July 2019||Recognition of lifetime service to Westarctica|
|Order of the Snowflake|| Knight/Dame Grand Cross
|27 January 2015||Services to Westarctica, exceptional achievement related to Westarctica's national goals, friendship of foreign allies|
|Noble Order of Westarctica||Knight||1 August 2004||Recognizing exceptional leadership in royals and nobles|
|Noble Order of the Sword|| Knight/Dame Commander
|2 April 2005||Military achievement|
Orders in disuse
Westarctica currently has an order of chivalry and an order of merit considered to be "in disuse." These orders are no longer being awarded, their function having been deemed obsolete with the introduction of the Honored Westarctican Awards in 2018. Though no longer awarded, these orders have not been abolished, meaning that their members may still wear their regalia as they would an active order. They will remain in disuse until such time as the Grand Duke decides to abolish or revive them; barring either of those occurring, the orders will become dormant once there are no living members. The 02 April 2005 Royal Decree Revising the Orders of Westarctica establishes the protocol of each order such as the size of the order, the use of post-nominal letters and insignia design and display.
|Complete name||Ranks||Regalia||Established||Current members||Awarded to/for|
|Holy Order of The Cross|| Grand Knight/Dame Commander
|2 April 2005||
||Exceptional Christian achievement|
|Order of Merit||Knight/Dame||2 April 2005||
||Achievements in the arts & sciences, or actions not covered by other Orders|
An Order becomes dormant when there are no longer any living members, assuming it has not been abolished. As a relatively young nation, Westarctica currently has no dormant orders.
Orders that are incapable of dormancy
Westarctica currently has two orders that are not able to become dormant, under current guidelines. These two orders have unique criteria for their function that preclude the ability to allow the active roster to reach zero knights or dames.
Due to the nature of the Holy Order of The Cross being awarded to an "eternal soul," it cannot become dormant upon the death of its last living member. With Westarctica's current policies regarding religion, it does not seem likely that this order will be awarded again in the future. This could make the Order of The Cross a candidate for being abolished, someday.
The other unique order, the Noble Order of Westarctica, confers a hereditary knighthood upon the bearer. Should the sovereign decide to stop issuing the honor, heirs to existing knights and dames of the order would continue to inherit membership in the order, in perpetuity. This fact means that the order will be active unless acted upon by Westarctica's Sovereign. The decision could be made to stop bestowing the order upon successors, allowing the order to go dormant through attrition. However, as this could be seen as going against the spirit of the order, it may instead be decided to abolish it, altogether.
An order can only be abolished by official decree of the Sovereign. This has not yet happened in Westarctica, and it is uncertain if this will ever be deemed necessary, since the majority of Westarctica's orders can simply be allowed to become dormant.