CHAPTER I – CLASSES
Art. 1. The National Order of the Southern Cross, reestablished by Decree no. 22.165, from December 5, 1932, amended by Decree no. 1.424, from July 17, 1939, initially regulated by Decree no. 22.610, from April 4, 1933, amended by Decree no. 14.265, from December 14, 1943, intended to reward foreign individuals or entities which have become worthy of the recognition of the Brazilian Nation, consists of the following classes:
• Grand Collar
• Grand Cross
• Grand Officer
Sole paragraph. The Insignia of the Order will be awarded to legal entities without class attribution.
CHAPTER II – DECORATION
Art. 2. The insignia of the Order is a five point white enameled star, edged with golden silver, seated on a crown and surmounted by a garland, both made of leaves of tobacco and coffee; in the center, in a sky blue field, the Constellation of the Southern Cross, enameled in white and, in the circumference, in dark blue circle, the legend "Benemerentium Premium", in burnished gold. On the reverse, the effigy of the Republic, in gold, with the caption “Federative Republic of Brazil”, according to the attached drawings.
Art. 3. The Grand Collar insignia consists of a pendant necklace of two golden silver chains surmounted by a big-sized five point white enameled star, edged with golden silver; the necklace is alternately decorated with leaves of tobacco and coffee, and with small-sized five point white enameled stars edged with golden silver. The Grand Cross insignia consists of a sky blue sash worn from the right shoulder to the left hip, and of a golden badge with the same insignia displayed on the left chest. The Grand Officer wears the insignia around the neck suspended from a blue ribbon necklet, and the badge in silver. The Commander wears the insignia around the neck suspended from a blue ribbon necklet. The Officer and the Knight wear the insignia on the left chest, suspended from a ribbon with a golden rosette for the first, and a simple ribbon in silver for the last
Sole paragraph. In everyday attire, the recipients of the Grand Cross, the Grand Officer and the Commander badges can wear, on the lapel, a rosette with the colors of the Order over a golden, silver gold and silver ribbon bar, respectively; the recipients of the Officer badge may use, on the lapel, a rosette; and the Knights a narrow ribbon.
CHAPTER III – THE COUNCIL
Art. 4. The Council of the Order is integrated by the President of the Republic, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Defense and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
§1- The President of the Republic and the Minister of Foreign Affairs are, respectively, the Grand Master and the Chancellor of the Order.
§ 2 - The Chief of Protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Secretary of the Order.
Art. 5. It is the responsibility of the Council to approve or reject the proposals submitted to it, to ensure the prestige of the Order and the faithful implementation of these Regulations, to propose measures that are indispensable for the proper performance of its functions, to draw up its internal rules of procedure, to approve amendments to the Regulations and suspend or cancel the right to use the insignia for any act incompatible with the dignity of the Order.
Sole Paragraph: The Council of the Order, which has its headquarters in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, meets annually between July 15 and 30, and may, in exceptional cases, be convened for extraordinary meetings.
CHAPTER IV – ADMISSION TO AND PROMOTION IN THE ORDER
Art. 6. Admission to and promotion in the Order comply with following criteria:
Grand Collar – exclusively intended for Heads of State in circumstances that justify this special token of gratitude.
Grand Cross – intended for Heads of State, Heads of Government, Princes of Reigning Houses, Presidents of the Legislative Branch, Presidents of the Supreme Courts of Justice, Ministers of State, Ambassadors, Governors, Admirals, Army Marshals Marshals of the Air, Fleet Admirals, Army Generals, Lieutenant-Brigadier and other persons of equivalent rank.
Grand Officer – intended for Envoys Extraordinary and Ministers Plenipotentiary, Presidents of Legislative Chambers, Presidents of Courts of Justice, Vice Admirals, Divisional Generals, Brigadier Major, Minister-Counselors of Embassies, and other persons of equivalent rank.
Commander – intended for Chargé d’Affaires, Counselors of Embassy or Legation, Members of the Parliament and Courts of Justice, Rear Admirals, Brigade Generals, Air Brigadiers, Consuls General, Presidents of Literary, Scientific or Commercial Associations, College Professors, and other persons of equivalent rank.
Officer –First Secretaries of Embassy or Legation, Superior Officers of the Armed Forces, Trial Courts Judges, Prosecutors, Writers, Artists, Members of Literary, Scientific or Commercial Associations, College Professors and other persons of equivalent rank.}
Knight –Second and Third Secretaries of Embassy or Legation, Carrier Consuls, Civil Attachés, Armed Forces Officers, Teachers of elementary schools, Artists, Athletes, and other persons of equivalent rank.
§ 1- In exceptional cases, the Minister of Foreign Affairs may recommend the award of a higher class.
§ 2 - There is no limitation of the number of members in the Order.
Art. 7. The principle of reciprocity observed, foreign diplomats and carrier consuls who have served in Brazil for more than two years, and have become worthy of national recognition, may receive, when living the country definitively, the insignias and diplomas of the corresponding classes.
§ 1- While accredited in Brazil, they may only be admitted to the Order in special cases, for example, due to official visit of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign Affairs of the respective countries.
§ 2 - Foreign diplomats and carrier consuls serving in Brazil for more than ten consecutive years and that have rendered distinguished service to the Nation may also be admitted to the Order.
Art. 8. On the occasion of official visit of foreign Head of State, Head of Government or Minister of Foreign Affairs or visit of foreign high personality to Brazil, as well as on the occasion of official visit of the President of the Republic or the Minister of Foreign Affairs abroad, the President of the Republic, Grand Master of the Order, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chancellor of the Order, may grant awards, without previous consultation to the members of the Council.
Art. 9. Members of the Order may only be promoted to the class immediately above when they have rendered new and relevant services to the Nation, respecting the interstice of three years.
CHAPTER V – PROPOSALS
Art. 10. Proposals of admission to and promotion in the Order are privative to the members of the Council.
Art. 11. Suggestions for admission or promotion of foreign citizens resident in the Federal District and other Political Divisions of the Federation will be forwarded to the Minister of Foreign Affairs to assessment of the Council of the Order.
Art. 12. In the case of people residing abroad, suggestions of admission to or promotion in the Order are made by the Heads of Brazilian Diplomatic Missions or Consular Offices and are forwarded to the Council of the Order by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Art. 13. All the proposals for admission to and promotion in the Order shall contain the full name of the candidate, his/her nationality, profession, biographical data, reference of services rendered, proposed class, list of decorations and name of the proponent.
Art. 14. Proposals of admission to and promotion in the Order shall reach the Council’s Secretariat up to June 30, with a view to preliminary work and judgment by the Council.
Art. 15. Proposals of admission and promotion of foreign diplomats and carrier consuls are not submitted to the Council of the Order, being governed by the principle of reciprocity. In exceptional cases, the Minister of Foreign Affairs may recommend to the President of the Republic the derogation of reciprocity.
CHAPTER VI – APPOINTMENTS
Art. 16. Appointments to the Order are made by Decree of the President of the Republic, as Grand Master of the Order, countersigned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs after approval by the Council of the Order.
Art. 17. After the Appointment Decree is published, the Minister of Foreign Affairs requires the issuance of the competent diploma, which is signed by him or by the Chief of Protocol, in his capacity as Secretary of the Order.
CHAPTER VII – DELIVERY OF DECORATIONS
Art. 18. People rewarded with the Grand Collar receive the insignias from the hands of the President of the Republic, in accordance with previously established ceremonial.
Sole paragraph. Abroad, the Minister of Foreign Affairs or Ambassador Extraordinary assigned for this purpose presents the awards.
Art. 19. In the case of people residing in States of the Federation or in the Federal District, the insignias and the respective diplomas may be presented by authority assigned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his capacity as Chancellor of the Order.
Art. 20. In the case of people residing abroad, the insignias and the respective diploma ispresented by the Heads of Brazilian Diplomatic Missions or Consular Offices.
CHAPTER VIII – RECORD BOOK
Art. 21. The Council of the Order keeps a registry book, signed by the Secretary, in which are inscribed, in chronological order, the name of each member of the Order, the class indication and the respective biographical data.