The Order of St Stanislas was founded by Stanislas Augustus Poniatowski, the last king of Poland, in 1765 on the eve of the Feast of St Stanislas, Bishop, Martyr and Patron Saint of Poland. The Order ranked in Poland second only to the Order of the White Eagle.
After the Insurrection of 1830 and the suppression of the Kingdom of Poland, Czar Nicholas I incorporated the Order among the Russian Orders of Chivalry. The Order's badge was an eight-pointed, red-enamelled, gold bordered Maltese cross whose points were tipped with a golden pearl. In the white enamelled centre was the figure of St Stanislas surrounded by a gold and green laurel wreath. A golden crowned Polish Eagle was between the arms of the cross. In 1832, Czar Nicholas changed the medal by substituting the double-headed eagle of Russia for the Polish Eagle. When awarded for military gallantry the badge featured crossed swords in the angles of the cross.
The Order of St Stanislas remained in the hands of the Russian Czars until 1917 when they were eliminated by the Bolsheviks. It had been lavishly bestowed on both Russians and foreigners. The White Russians used the Order after WWI to award those fighting with them against the Bolsheviks. These were the last of the Russian Order of Stanislas's awarded. The Bolsheviks instituted a whole new line of awards. After the establishment of an independent Poland in 1918, the Republic brought into existence the new Order of Polonia Restituta, retaining the original colours of the Order of St Stanislas of which it was to be the direct continuation. The name of St Stanislas, however, was not maintained because of the excessively large number of Russians and foreigners who had received the Order for merits to the Czarist Empire.