Iris of Merit
There shall exist in Ansteorra an order unto which the Crown shall select persons who have demonstrated all of the following qualities:
- outstanding work in the arts and sciences, well above that which is expected of the citizens of Ansteorra;
- Knowledge of the courtly graces; and
- who have shown consistent respect for the laws and customs of Ansteorra.
This Order shall be known as the Order of the Iris of Merit of Ansteorra.
Companions of the order are entitled place the initials CIM after their names and to be styled and announced in procession as "Companion of the Iris of Merit of Ansteorra” and to wear a ribbon tinctured in the spectrum of a natural rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet) about either shoulder.
Companions of the Order shall take precedence after all nobility and peerage and before simple Grants of Rank. The Order of the White Scarf, Star of Merit, Iris of Merit, Centurions of the Sable Star, Arc d'Or of Ansteorra, and Golden Lance of Ansteorra are held to be of equal precedence.
The Order of the Iris of Merit was created by the 1st Crown, Jonathan and Willow, XIV (1979).
Blazon:Or, a mullet of five greater and five lesser points voided sable, surmounted by a natural rainbow proper.
Insignia: A ribbon tinctured in the spectrum of a natural rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet) worn on the left shoulder.
History of the Insignia
As provided by Master Robin of Gilwell: " The original insignia was six separate ribbons, of different lengths, hanging from the shoulder (red longest, then orange, etc.) Nobody ever made one. Back then, no insignia was handed out - just a scroll. In the second reign, the insignia was changed to a single six-colored ribbon, and Ansteorra bought a lot of rainbow grosgrain. The first person who wore one was Gwenllian, who chose to decorate it with a rosette. So **EVERYBODY** had to have a rosette. There were classes at King's College on how to make one "correctly". When people started making them for the Crown to hand out, they all had the rosette. When Adelicia was Principal Herald, Vashti asked if there was some easier way to do it, because most of the work was making that little flower. Adelicia pointed out that there was no requirement, and people stopped making them that way."
There have been discussions at various points in Kingdom history surrounding revising the Award Insignia for the Iris, due to confusion that occurs when the Insignia is worn to out of Kingdom events. While suggestions have been made, no Crown has seen fit to change the Insignia as of yet.