"the purple ribbon of the Palms of the Academy"
Ribbon bar: Les Palmes académiques, Chavalier rank
Creative Commons AttributionRibbon bar: Les Palmes académiques, Chavalier rank - Credit: Borodun

The Order of Academic Palms (Ordre des Palmes Académiques) was a system introduced by Napoleon Bonaparte to reward those achieving substantial merit. Although palmes académiques were initially presented only to teachers or professors, revision of the award in 1866 meant that practically anyone aiding the advancement of French education was eligible.