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"ECW flags - a hopeful punt" Topic

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21 Jan 2017 11:35 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Supercilius Maximus08 Jun 2016 10:16 a.m. PST

For years, I thought that the style of colours used by Charles Gerard's Regt of Foot were unique, but recent study into the colours of the King's Oxford Army suggests that gyronny was used by several regiments. So, more in hope than expectation given the subject matter, here are some questions:-

1) Was the use of gyronny limited to Royalist colours – does anyone know of any non-Royalist examples?

2) Is there any evidence it was adopted by any army, or particular part of one, as a "standard form" of colour?

3) Does anyone know where its use in regimental colours originated (as opposed to being an heraldic term) – was it used in the TYW, for example?

Wardlaw Inactive Member08 Jun 2016 12:02 p.m. PST

1) Don't believe so.

2) No. The designs of colours were individual to the regiments. There was no 'standard form', although there was greater uniformity among the regiments of the New Modelled Army.

3) I looked into this for a conference paper and struggled. It is possible (but by no means clear) that colours used by Trained bands under Elizabeth and James were striped, so they may well be a variant on this.

Lt Col Pedant08 Jun 2016 1:17 p.m. PST

Interesting questions and useful answers both. No pedantry there.

Jeff of SaxeBearstein Inactive Member08 Jun 2016 1:43 p.m. PST

From the "Wargames Designs" flags posted a few years ago, the following other Royalist regiments uses gyronny:

Sir Allan Apsley -- black & white
Col. John Owen -- red & white
Sir Henry Tillier -- green & white
Sir Henry Vaughan -- green & red
Duke of York -- red & black

At that time no Parliamentary regiments were noted as having gyronny flags . . . BUT remember we do NOT know what most of the regiments (on all sides) had for their colours.

-- Jeff

Timmo uk08 Jun 2016 1:58 p.m. PST


Do you have a note of the original source that defines Tiller's and Vaughan's colours or are these fictional ones that Wargame Designs have made up? I've also seen red and white on the wargames table but as far as I know that is a fictional one.

With the new Model it's quite likely that some regiments used existing colours from the regiments that some off the men came from. Some of these colours may be those issued to Essex's army after the 1644 refit.

There is going to be a new book published next year which will reflect all the-to-date research on ECW flags for both horse and foot. I can't wait.

Jeff of SaxeBearstein Inactive Member08 Jun 2016 4:13 p.m. PST

Timmo uk,

I just reported what he had on his website back then (before he took to selling flags). I suggest that you contact him as to the sources . . . but if I recall correctly he did not list them as "conjectural" as he did with some.

-- Jeff

Timbo W08 Jun 2016 4:46 p.m. PST

I'm pretty sure Tillier, Vaughan and Owen are a little conjectural. Vaughan and Owen are from their respective reenactment Rgts iirc. Don't know if the reenactors completely made these up or not. Tillers carried green flags but no real idea of design afaik.

Wargames Designs08 Jun 2016 5:31 p.m. PST

Hi Guys,

Tilliers was one of the very first flags that I made, long before I decided to go commercial with them. If memory serves me right I took the idea for the flag from talking to other wargamers/historians with far more knowledge than me at the time. All the information I had was that it was originally raised in Ireland and after Naseby they used a piece of green taffeta 1 yard square as a flag, so I used a gyronny pattern probably because I had seen it used somewhere else or because of some discussion. The sealed knot use a plain green flag for this regiment and on the BCW Project regimental wiki it shows a green flag for which I did the illustration. As far as I know The plain green flag is probably a best guess based upon the description of the green taffeta used as a flag after the battle of Naseby. Having said that I still use the gyronny flag for my own version of Tilliers regt.

As for Vaughans, this was again one of the first few flags that I made and was taken directly from the Sealed Knot flag on the website as I had absolutely nothing else to go on as a basis for the flag. I assumed that a Sealed Knot regiment of the same name may have had more insight than me at the time into (again probably a best guess at) some colours for the flag.

Regards Steve

Timbo W08 Jun 2016 8:20 p.m. PST

Hi Steve, great to hear from you,

Supercilius Maximus09 Jun 2016 4:35 a.m. PST

Just so people know, this thread was cross-posted to Renaissance Discussion, but got hit by the TMP bug. The answers are pretty much the same, but there are different details that might be of interest to some readers.

Wargames Designs10 Jun 2016 6:15 p.m. PST

Hi Tim, nice to hear from you too. I have more updated flag images to send you for the BCW Regimental Wiki. Great work on that btw.

Timbo W12 Jun 2016 8:24 a.m. PST

Cheers Steve, much appreciated!

Pikeman Nasty Inactive Member13 Jun 2016 11:27 a.m. PST

In regards to Vaughan's regt, I'm relaying over information in regards to standard interpretation provided by regiment's CO. Hope it helps chaps

The illustration attached is from an inspection of the Carmarthen Trained Bands by the Duke of Beaufort 1683. (Dineley, progress of the Duke of Beaufort in Wales and the Marches) The colour 2nd form left, above the 'beertent' is clearly gyronny. I discussed this some years ago with Steve Ede Borrett. who had published on the subject of colours. He told me that the pattern shown (George cross in canton) was archaic by 1683 so that this colour had probably continued in use at least since the restoration. Carmarthen Trained Bands were incorporated into Vaughans regiment in 1643 (Pamphlet Anon-The_Earle_of_Carberyes_pedegree-Wing-E71-57_E_355_29 EEBO) Therefore, needing a colour for our new company we assumed that the pattern was used during the ECW. The colours are a guess as the print is of course black and white. Vaughans lost a consignment of red coats to Laugharne at Haverfordwest in 1644 and we therefore assume the regiment to have been an Oxford Army red coat unit, (present in Oxford January 1643 onwards). So one of the Gyrons we guess to be red. Blue was the facing colour of the Carmarthen militia much later so really a bit of a guess. All backwards logic, but at least an educated guess.


Timbo W13 Jun 2016 3:48 p.m. PST

Hi pikeman, fascinating! Sounds just the sort of process to go through when making a conjecture based on all the available hints and indirect evidence, if no exactly contemporary information exists.

Supercilius Maximus21 Jun 2016 4:28 a.m. PST

Thanks to all for their contributions.

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