Grand Order of Mugunghwa

South Korean award

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Grand Order of Mugunghwa
Mugunghwa order symbol.png
Rendering of the order insignia.
Awarded by  South Korea
TypeOrder of merit
EstablishedAugust 13, 1949
Awarded forOutstanding meritorious services in the interest of promoting the development and security of the Republic of Korea.
Next (higher)none
Next (lower)
Grand Order of Mugunghwa (South Korea) - ribbon bar.gif
Sash riband of the order
Korean name
Revised RomanizationMugunghwa Daehunjang
McCune–ReischauerMugunghwa Daehunjang

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa (Korean: 무궁화대훈장) is the highest order awarded by the government of South Korea. It is awarded to the President of South Korea, and it may be awarded to their spouse, heads or former heads of state of South Korean allies, and their spouses. The order is presented for, "Outstanding meritorious services in the interest of promoting the development and security of the Republic of Korea."[1]

The Grand Order of Mugunghwa takes its name from South Korea's national flower, the rose of Sharon. The rose of Sharon is a cultivar native to the Korean peninsula and has great cultural significance in Korean history.[2]


The Grand Order of Mugunghwa consists of "an insignia worn around the neck, a badge affixed to sash worn over the shoulder and a star, with a ribbon and a lapel badge as necessary," according to law.[1] The Grand Order of Mugunghwa may be made of gold, silver, ruby and amethyst. As of 2013, the cost to produce it was approximately 20 million won, or $19,000 USD.[3]


The Grand Order of Mugunghwa is traditionally awarded to the incoming President of South Korea shortly after their inauguration. However, Former President Roh Moo-hyun opted to accept the award upon his departure from office in 2008.[3]

After their conviction for treason in 1996, former president Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo were ordered to return the Grand Order of Mugunghwa along with other state decorations. While Chun agreed to return the awards, he and Roh have yet to actually return them.

By statute, the Grand Order of Mugunghwa is the highest decoration in Korea, however in the eyes of the public it is not as well regarded. Many Koreans feel that the Order has far less significance. This is due to the fact that it is self-awarded and is based on winning an election, not on any positive achievements for the country. There is also the fact that it is given to foreign heads of state, not necessarily because of what they have done for Korea, but for what they may do for Korea in the future.[4]


Year Name Title Nationality
1949 Syngman Rhee President South Korea
1960 Yun Posun President
1963 Park Chung-hee President
1964 Heinrich Lübke President West Germany
Wilhelmine Lübke First lady
1966 Ismail Nasiruddin of Terengganu King Malaysia
Tengku Ampuan Tua Intan Zaharah Queen
Bhumibol Adulyadej King Thailand
Sirikit Queen
Chiang Kai-shek President China
1967 Yuk Young-soo First lady South Korea
1968 Haile Selassie Emperor Ethiopia
1969 Nguyễn Văn Thiệu President South Vietnam
Nguyễn Thị Mai Anh First lady
Hamani Diori President Niger
Aissa Diori First lady
1970 Fidel Sánchez Hernández President El Salvador
Marie Nade Sánchez Hernández First lady
1975 Omar Bongo President Gabon
Josephine Bongo First lady
1979 Léopold Sédar Senghor President Senegal
Colette Hubert Senghor First lady
Choi Kyu-hah President South Korea
Hong Gi First lady
1980 Khalid of Saudi Arabia King Saudi Arabia
Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Emir Kuwait
Chun Doo-hwan President South Korea
Lee Soon-ja First lady
1981 Suharto President Indonesia
Siti Hartinah First lady
Ahmad Shah of Pahang King Malaysia
Tengku Ampuan Afzan Queen
Ferdinand Marcos President Philippines
Imelda Marcos First lady
Rodrigo Carazo Odio President Costa Rica
Estrella Zeledón Lizano First lady
1982 Samuel Doe President Liberia
Mobutu Sese Seko President Zaire
Bobi Ladawa Mobutu First lady
Abdou Diouf President Senegal
Kenan Evren President Turkey
1983 Gaafar Nimeiry President Sudan

Butina Khalil Abbulhashan

First lady
Hussein of Jordan King Jordan
Queen Noor of Jordan Queen
1984 Hassanal Bolkiah Sultan Brunei
Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani Emir Qatar
Dawda Jawara President Gambia
Chilele Jawara First lady
Maumoon Abdul Gayoom President Maldives
1985 Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq President Pakistan
Luis Alberto Monge President Costa Rica
1986 Elizabeth II Queen United Kingdom
Baudouin of Belgium King Belgium
1987 Ahmed Abdallah President Comoros
1988 Roh Tae-woo President South Korea
Kim Ok-suk First lady
Iskandar of Johor King Malaysia
Tunku Puan Zanariah Queen
1989 Richard von Weizsäcker President West Germany
François Mitterrand President France
Danielle Mitterrand First lady
1990 Andrés Rodríguez President Paraguay
Árpád Göncz President Hungary
1991 Azlan Shah of Perak King Malaysia
Raja Permaisuri Bainun Queen
Carlos Salinas de Gortari President Mexico
1992 Jorge Serrano Elías President Guatemala
1993 Kim Young-sam President South Korea
Son Myung-soon First lady
Fidel Ramos President Philippines
Amelita Ramos First lady
1994 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle President Chile
Lech Wałęsa President Poland
1995 Islam Karimov President Uzbekistan
Roman Herzog President Germany
Zhelyu Zhelev President Bulgaria
Nelson Mandela President South Africa
Carlos Menem President Argentina
1996 Álvaro Arzú President Guatemala
Fernando Henrique Cardoso President Brazil
Juan Carlos I of Spain King Spain
Queen Sofía of Spain Queen
Tuanku Ja’afar King Malaysia
Leonid Kuchma President Ukraine
1998 Kim Dae-jung President South Korea
Lee Hee-ho First lady
2000 Carlo Azeglio Ciampi President Italy
Jacques Chirac President France
2006 Abdelaziz Bouteflika President Algeria
2007 Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Emir Kuwait
Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani Emir Qatar
2008 Roh Moo-hyun President South Korea
Kwon Yang-sook First lady
2009 Nursultan Nazarbayev President Kazakhstan
Alan García President Peru
Giorgio Napolitano President Italy
2011 Margrethe II of Denmark Queen Denmark
2012 Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden King Sweden
Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan President United Arab Emirates
2013 Lee Myung-bak President South Korea
Kim Yoon-ok First lady
Park Geun-hye President
2014 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono President Indonesia
2015 Ollanta Humala President Peru
2018 Emmanuel Macron President France
2019 Harald V King Norway
2021 Alexander Van der Bellen President Austria
Felipe VI of Spain King Spain
Iván Duque Márquez President Colombia
Borut Pahor President Slovenia

See also


  1. ^ a b "Awards and Decorations Act". Act No. 11690 of March 23, 2013.(in English and Korean) Korea Legislation Research Institute. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  2. ^ Umoh, Kingsley (2014). Taekwondo Poomsae: The Fighting Scrolls: Guiding Philosophy and Basic Applications. Strategic Book Publishing & Rights Agency. pp. 233–234. ISBN 9781612048017.
  3. ^ a b "Will Pres. Lee accept top gov't honor before retiring?". The Dong-A Ilbo. 2013-01-11. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  4. ^

External links

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