UITENHAGE is hosting an exhibition of state-owned national orders and symbols at its Drostdy Museum.
Museum head Balise Mvoko said the national orders were the highest awards the country could bestow on citizens and respected foreigners.
"South Africa's national orders and symbols reflect the inclusiveness and diversity of a democratic South Africa, its people and place in the African continent. They symbolise unity and our national dignity."
The national orders were first awarded by former president Thabo Mbeki in 2002.
The Rev Allan Hendrickse of Uitenhage was awarded the Order of the Baobab (for distinguished service) in silver for his lifetime contribution to the struggle and the establishment of a free and democratic South Africa. His photo receiving this award from Mbeki is on display at the museum.
The orders are Mapungubwe (for exceptional achievement), Baobab (distinguished service), Companions of OR Tambo (friendship to South Africa – awarded to foreign heads of states or persons), Luthuli (meaningful contribution to the struggle), Ikhamanga (excellence in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport) and the Mendi decoration for bravery.
"The exhibit is to educate pupils, mostly Grade 3s and 4s, as it is part of the curriculum. And adults too, as most are not aware of their importance," she said.
The national orders and symbols will be exhibited at the Drostdy Museum at 50 Caledon Street, Uitenhage until next year.