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" Waterloo flags find at Walter Scott home" Topic

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2,949 hits since 17 Jun 2008
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Old Smokie17 Jun 2008 4:03 a.m. PST

So what's the opinion on this find


If you go to the link below and click on Scotlands big picture it will show you two more images of the flags.


Big Martin17 Jun 2008 4:10 a.m. PST

Interesting to see a Bourbon flag amongst them. Assuming the provenance is correct, this would suggest that not all units had been reissued with Napoleon's tricolours like the 105th Ligne.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2008 7:27 a.m. PST

Interesting. The article at the first link in old smokie's post illustrates a flag with a double-headed eagle. One wonders if that might be a German flag, maybe from one of the Hanoverian units, rather than a French flag.

And although the flag with the three fleur de lis is said to have come from the battlefield, I really doubt that any self-respecting French army unit would have carried an outwardly Bourbon flag. It may have been carried by an Allied unit rather than a French unit, but I don't really know. That's what makes historical research so interesting and challenging.


Camcleod17 Jun 2008 8:32 a.m. PST

"three French and one English banner"

So which ones are which? The Fr. 105th's flag is obvious, the fleur de lis is Royalist French, unlikely to have been carried by ANY troops at Waterloo, the double-headed eagle
looks like a simplified Austrian design with a reversed Scottish? cross?? – does anyone recognize the red shield on the eagle. It reminds me of an Emigre design? from the Revolutionary Wars.
What about the fourth flag?


Old Smokie17 Jun 2008 9:13 a.m. PST

Forgot to mention this in my intial post,

the French 105th flag is wrong should it not say 105e ?

maybe Scott was conned and thats why they have been hidden for all this time.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2008 9:24 a.m. PST

The St. Andrew's saltire with the eagle looks awfully Russian to me.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2008 9:34 a.m. PST

"The St. Andrew's saltire with the eagle looks awfully Russian to me."

Agreed – perhaps the Russian naval jack?

The French flag of the 105th – wasn't that the other eagle lost to the British heavy cavalry? Ewing of the Greys got the 45th's eagle, while I believe a corporal of the 1st Dragoon Guards captured that of the 105th? If so, it seems strange that Scott should have it, particularly as he seems to have been 'taken for a ride' on the other flags, which I very much doubt were at the Battle of Waterloo.

vaughan17 Jun 2008 9:39 a.m. PST

The blue saltire is definately a fancy Russian ensign.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2008 10:50 a.m. PST

The reason I said that the double-headed eagle over saltire flag might be a German unit's was it resembles the flag of the Lubeck Burgerwehr, 1740, as recently illustrated on the Not By Appointment blog:

But it could very well be that ole Walter did get "taken for a ride" with some, if not all, of the flags.


TOPCAT17 Jun 2008 11:13 a.m. PST

So there was some spiv selling dodgy souvenirs in 1815?
Just shows there is nothing new under the sun!
What really surprises me that these things have just come to light. Wonder what else is tucked away somewhere.


Deadmen tell lies17 Jun 2008 11:30 a.m. PST

Possibly these flags did not all come from the fields of waterloo and the BBC is assuming that they did. They may have came from other Napoleonic Battle fields.


John the OFM17 Jun 2008 1:37 p.m. PST

It shouldn't be surprising.
The Tarleton estate auctioned off some captured AWI flags last year that I had never seen pictured before. Not even in Richardson.

When you read the fate of some captured flags, it makes you cringe. The Hessian ones captured at Trenton were cut up as souvenirs.

What should NOT be surprising is the news story getting almost everything wrong. grin

andygamer17 Jun 2008 4:46 p.m. PST

And the kicker for the faulty provenance is the English one. A serving English/British unit that lost its standard at Waterloo, and/or allowed it to be sold to a collector. Yeah, right.

Camcleod17 Jun 2008 6:32 p.m. PST

""A serving English/British unit that lost its standard at Waterloo, and/or allowed it to be sold to a collector. Yeah, right.""

Sounds like the story of the colours of the 69th Ft. – Captured at Quatre Bras – given to French General Donzelot
- later turns up in 1910 for sale at the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideauin – bought for 50 francs and returned to Britain.


Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2008 8:33 p.m. PST

I guess the first question is, "When was Scott at Waterloo?" The article says he was "allowed" on the field. Since I don't believe he was present at the battle, one might assume this means he had permission of the landowners to explore the grounds. I don't think the Allies were policing the battlefield post-action; certainly the accounts suggest that the place was crawling with civilian looters before the bodies were even cold.

So, assuming he arrived even within days of the battle, the place would have been picked clean. As Topcat suggests, there were doubtless some clever folk who realized the sightseeing toffs were keen on souvenirs and took advantage of people with more money than scepticism. One wonders how many baronets and mill owners went home with Blücher's pipe or Picton's brolly.

Maybe the reason they were stashed in the cupboard is because Sir Walter eventually realized he was rooked.

11th ACR17 Jun 2008 8:51 p.m. PST
Whatisitgood4atwork18 Jun 2008 10:20 p.m. PST

"Esteemed Sir, If I do not have the genuine antique you are looking for, I shall have it made for you immediately!"

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