Skip to main content

World War I Victory Medal, 1919

Identifier: B255.02.0001.0001.00001


On the obverse side of this bronze medal is a female Victory with wings and sword in her proper right hand and shield on her proper left side. On the reverse of the metal part is a shield with U.S. in the middle and on the left and right are raised capital letters. On the left: ''France, Italy, Serbia, Japan, Montenegro, Russia, Greece'' and on the right: '' Great Britain, Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, Rumania, China''. There are three stars in raised relief on both sides of the shield on the bottom. The medal is attached by a hoop to a ridged material that has vertical stripes from left to right: purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. The primary colors fade into each other, forming the secondary colors. Battle Clasps: There is a bronze metal strip approximately. 0.5 centimeters from the top with a star on either side of the words in raised relief in capitals of ''CHAMPAGNE - MARNE'' and approximately one centimeter from the top are four additional metal strips. The strips also have two stars on the bronze clasps. The first has the words ''AISNE - MARNE,'' the second ''OISE - AISNE,'' the third ''MEUSE - ARGONNE,'' and the fourth ''DEFENSIVE SECTOR''. The medal portion has a four centimeter diameter.


  • 1919


Rights and Usage Statement

Copyright restrictions may apply.


1 items (1 medal) ; 10.5 x 4 centimeters

Scope and Contents

From the Series: This series consists of a World War I American Victory Medal, a World War I Victory ribbon, and World War I dog tags.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

FAIR Bronze --Cloth


Donated by Jay E. Lutz, a great-nephew of Sidney Israelski.


Title supplied by archivist. ||The Victory Medal, World War I, was established by the U.S. Congress in 1919 and awarded to members of the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps for active service between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918 (Armistice Day). The name originally proposed for the medal, the ''Allies' Medal,'' was rejected by the Commission because the name technically excluded the United States, (the United States was an Associated power versus an Allied power) and Germany, ironically, could issue a medal by the same name. Separate medals were created by the 16 Allied and Associated nations. The ribbon, identical for all countries, represents two rainbows placed in juxtaposition in such a manner as will bring the red in the middle. (An American, Army Colonel Thomas Bentley Mott, is credited with the ribbon design.) All countries were to design their own medals, but were required to have certain features. On the obverse was to be represented a figure of Victory -- winged, standing, full length and full face. On the reverse was to be the inscription ''The Great War for Civilization'' in the language of the country and to show the names of Allied and Associated nations. The United States Commission on Fine Arts was responsible for the design of the United States Victory Medal. The group selected prominent sculptor James Earle Fraser for the project, who had designed the ''buffalo'' nickel. On the United States Victory medal, the obverse shows a representation of Victory, in this case wearing a spiked crown, similar to that seen on the Statue of Liberty. The reverse has an American shield and the names of 14 Allied and Associated nations. Atop the shield is a fasces -- a medieval battle axe. The bronze bars (battle clasps) contain the name of the campaign (or Sector). They were awarded for specific battles or campaigns. The individual must have been present for duty under competent orders in the combat zone during the period in which the unit was engaged in combat. The Champagne-Marne battle was July 18-August 6, 1918. The Aisne-Marne battle was July 15-18, 1918. The Oise-Aisne battle was August 18-November 11, 1918. The Meuse-Argonne battle was September 26-November 11, 1918.

Drawing Number

10.5 x 4 centimeters

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428