The National Orders were created in the second half of the 20th century. Albeit the evidence of a new reality that does not inherit the tradition of the ancient cavalry orders, National Orders have a great prestige due to the historical features associated to the events they celebrate.
The Order of Prince Henry the Navigator was created in 1960, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry. The Order of Freedom celebrated the Carnation Revolution (or Revolution of 25 April 1974) and is associated with the causes of the fight for Freedom and the Defence of Human Rights.
The Order of the Colonial Empire was created in 1932 and subsequently renamed as Order of the Empire. It became extinct soon after the Revolution of 25 April 1974, but those distinguished with it remain entitled to the use of its insignia, as stated in the applicable legislation.
Two National Orders exist since 1976:
These Orders have specific aims and insignia, consecrated in the Law of Honorific Orders.