I spent two years in Korea as a guest of the U.S. Air Force, and while I may have physically left Korea, Korea has never left me. About twenty years ago, I stumbled upon a Korean Order. It took a lot of work, but I eventually was able to identify it. In doing the research however, I found that the majority of the information available was either incomplete or in some cases completely erroneous. I started gathering all of the information that I could find, hoping to make some sense of the Korean award system. It took about 5 years before it finally dawned on me, that a book on the History of Korean Orders and Medals was sorely needed. I am currently writing that book, but there are a number of areas that remain a mystery. In 1999, I received permission from the Korean Government to visit their Office of Protocol: Orders and Medals Department. I subsequently spent three weeks in Korea and was able to gather a significant amount of information. But in dealing with the Department, I found that even their official histories were not always "Clear and Concise". In some areas, they have no information at all. Until I can resolve some of the mysteries, I cannot say when I will be able to publish. For a quick look at some of these issues, take a look at my "Research Needed" page. As part of this research effort, I maintain a reference collection of Korean Orders, Medals, Decorations, Badges, Pictures, Documents, Government Publications, etc. I am extremely interested in obtaining more items for eventual publication. If you have anything which would benefit this effort, I would be deeply obligated in hearing from you. I will be more than happy to give full source credits.
or would just like to discuss Korean Medals, please contact me.
I can be reached at:
The vast majority of the pictures on this website were lifted from two sources. The first and primary source is the Korean Ministry of Public Administration and Security website. Unless you have a Korean Text reader and know a little bit about the language, it's virtually impossible to find. If you would like to see these pages, please go to my "Related Links" page. The second source is the Korean Minting and Security Printing Corporation. They have an English language website, which makes it a little easier to find. However, they only show the First Class of each Order and none of the lower classes. They also do not show any of the Merit Medals. There are several Korean websites which show Korean Orders and Medals, but they also borrowed their pictures from the two sources that I have cited above.
In putting together this website, I examined a number of ways in which to display Korean Characters. Unfortunately, most systems require the viewer to download the appropriate software. While this may be fine for the hardened Koreaphile like myself, it is less desireable for the occasional visitor. The only system that works, at least part of the time, is the one that I am using here. Unfortunately, it only works with later versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. For those of you who detest the Evil Empire of Bill Gates, I apologize.
|The second apology is in regards to several of the pictures found on this website. I have had several pictures lifted from my website, only to have them shown on the internet with what is often completely false information. I have modified several pictures in order to slow down this trend. I apologize if you find my modifications to be offensive.|