Instituted: by decree, on 9th September 1945
Awarded to: Bulgarian and foreign citizens, who took part in the armed insurrection of people on 9th September 1944; participants in "the foundation and consolidation of the people's authority".
Form: The 1st class is of five-angle shape of a star whose enamelled rays are white, with gold like frame. The crossed swords are with their edges up. Diameter is 66 mm. On the obverse can be noticed the face image of the great Bulgarian "Apostle of Freedom", Vassil Levski. Reverse: red enamelled, with a medallion surrounded by laurel wreath. There reads: "9th September 1944". The diameter of the second class is 60 mm. The inscription is placed in the green circle surrounding Vassil Levski's image. The third-class repeats the second one, the only difference being the red enamel of the star and medallion.
Classes: Three classes: 1st , 2nd and 3rd, with two variants: with and without swords. The swords category was awarded to commanders of the armed forces. The category without swords is intended for citizens. The 1st class has a double-side-enamel surface, the 2nd one has white enamel on the obverse, whereas the 3rd class is red enamelled on the obverse.
Author: Boris Angelushev.
EMISSIONS: There can be distinguished 5 emissions. Each of them has 6 variants: 3 classes with swords, and 3 without swords.
The first emission of the order is distinguished by an obverse with the initials "V" and "L" on both sides of Vassil Levski's image of a face. The 1st-class orders of this emission are to be carried on a red-colored neck band/ribbon; the 2nd and 3rd classes have a scre back and are to be placed on the left side of the breast. Pieces of this first emission are extremely rare and very hard to find nowadays.
The second emission repeats the first one but the initials "V" and "L" are missing. The first class is characterized by a neck-ribbon, whereas the 2nd and 3rd classes have a screw back.
The third emission is characterized by a five-angle-ribbon suspension and has the same Levski image on the obverse as with earlier emissions. The 2nd and 3rd classes of this emission have a little screw on the reverse.
The fourth emission differs by having a different image of Vassil Levski's face on the obverse.
Fourth emission, second type: In the last years of the communism (1980 - 19890, the order was awarded in slightly different variation - with a suspension of a smaller ribbon as well as with darker green enamel around Levski's face compared to previous emissions. The awards came with the common, big plastic cases without any special inscription on, only with the national NRB/ PRB coat of arms.( The same cases are used for the most recent variants of the following orders : Order of PRB, Military Merit and Valor, Civil Merit and Valor as well as the Labor Glory orders.)