The order is a cross with an image of Saint Nicholas Thaumaturgus on dark blue enamel, surrounded by a laurel wreath, the symbol of glory, and the motto, "Russia Will Be Saved Through Faith" ("Veroyu spasetsya Rossiya"). The reverse has the date "1920." It is worn on a white-dark blue-red ribbon, the Russian national colors.
The Order was instituted during the Russian Civil War on April 30, 1920, by Commander-in-Chief of the Russian White Army, General Wrangel, replacing the highest military award of the Russian Empire, the Order of St. George. St. Nicholas was the patron saint of the White Army.