The original version shows a circular, silver medal (80% pure), 1.42 inches in diameter. The British issue medals were made of cupro-nickel. Mounting includes a plain, straight, non-swiveling suspender with a single-toed claw. The obverse shows the bareheaded coinage effigy of King George VI, facing left, and the legend: GEORGIVS VI D: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: On the reverse, the Royal Crown rests on the stump of an oak tree, flanked by a lion and a lioness. At the top left is the date 1939, and at the top right, the date 1945. In exergue, though not ruled off, is the wording: THE DEFENCE/MEDAL. The light green ribbon is 1.25 inches wide with a central stripe of orange and a narrow black stripe in the middle of each green stripe. The orange represents the enemy attacks on the green land of England while the black represents the black-outs.