Order of Vytautas the Great may be conferred on the citizens of Lithuania and foreign nationals for distinguished services to the State of Lithuania and contributions to the Lithuanian nation or to the welfare of mankind.
The Order was instituted in 1930 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas the Great. The badge of the Order struck in pre-war Lithuania was designed by a Lithuanian artist, Jonas Burba. The insignia of the Order issued today are of the same design.
There are two kinds of the Order of Vytautas the Great - the Order with the Collar Chain and without it. Currently only the First Class Order of Vytautas the Great may be conferred.
The Order of Vytautas the Great with the Golden Chain is the highest award of the State of Lithuania.
In 1995-1999, 21 foreign nationals, mainly presidents of foreign states and monarchs, were decorated with the First Class Order of Vytautas the Great. The Swedish King Carl XVI Gustav and the Queen Silvia were the first to receive the Order in 1995 during the official visit of the President of Lithuania to the Kingdom of Sweden.
After the restitution of the Independent State of Lithuania, the Order of Vytautas the Great was conferred on three citizens of Lithuania: the first President of the restored State of Lithuania, Algirdas Brazauskas, the Chairman of the Supreme Council - the Reconstituent Seimas, Vytautas Landsbergis, and the Cardinal of Lithuania, Vincentas Sladkevicius.
Insignia of the Order of Vytautas the Great are produced at the Mint of Lithuania. The Danish Company "Morch & Sons" in Copenhagen manufactures the ribbon.