The Independence Medal is conferred on persons for distinction in the cause of restoration and consolidation of the Independent State of Lithuania during the period from 1990 to 2000.
This distinction is a historical analogue of the Medal which was awarded to persons for contributions to the re-establishment and strengthening of the independence of Lithuania in 1919-1928.
The Medal was issued in 1928 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Republic. Sculptor Juozas Zikaras designed the Independence Medal.
In pre-war Lithuania the Medal was conferred on persons known as 'book smugglers' who spread the books printed in the Lithuanian language during the period of the prohibition of the Lithuanian language in the 19th century, participants of the Independence War of 1918-1920, Knights of the Cross of Vytis, members of the 1923 Klaipeda uprising, riflemen and persons who had joined the public service in the early days of independence (1918-1919). Over 44 thousands of Lithuanian citizens and foreign nationals were awarded the Independence Medal during the period from 1928 to 1940.
On 6 July 2000, on the occasion of the first decade of restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania, the Independence Medal was conferred on participants of armed and non-violence resistance, volunteer soldiers, publishers of the Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, founders of the Committee for Protection of the Rights of Believers, members of the Helsinki Group as well as members of the Seimas, of the national rebirth movement "Sajudis" and the Lithuanian Supreme Council - the Reconstituent Seimas.
The Medal is produced at the Mint of Lithuania.