The statutes of the Order of the White Rose of Finland (FWR) were adopted on 16 May 1919. FWR decorations are conferred upon citizens who have distinguished themselves in the service of Finland. The Order of the Lion of Finland (FL) is the youngest of the Orders, founded by decree (747/1942) in 1942. Its decorations are awarded in recognition of outstanding civilian or military conduct. Foreign nationals may also be awarded FWR and FL decorations.
The President of the Republic serves as the Grand Master of the Orders and has the exclusive right to confer their decorations. The Orders of the White Rose of Finland and the Lion of Finland have a joint Chapter that consists of the Grand Master, a Chancellor, a Vice Chancellor and at least four members. They are assisted by a Treasurer and two Secretaries.
The classes of both Orders are: Grand Cross; Commander First Class; Commander; Knight First Class; and Knight. The FWR Grand Cross with Collar is an exceptional mark of honour and has been conferred almost exclusively upon heads of state. The Knight differs from the Knight First Class in that the latter is worn with a round rosette.
As an exceptional mark of honour, the insignia of the FWR in the classes mentioned above may be conferred with diamonds, and the insignia of an FL Knight First Class and Knight may be conferred with a clasp that is attached to the ribbon.
The decorations of both Orders may be awarded with swords for meritorious service in wartime. The Cross of Merit is a special FWR decoration. The FWR decorations also include Medal First Class and Medal, the former also with Gold Cross.
The Pro Finlandia Medal, a special FL decoration, is only conferred upon artists and authors. The Order also has a Cross of Merit.