Help support TMP

"Flags of Mysore and the Mahrattas" Topic

32 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the 18th Century Discussion Message Board

Back to the Flags and Banners Message Board

Areas of Interest

18th Century

1,336 hits since 16 Apr 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Mad Malx16 Apr 2018 12:09 p.m. PST

I'm currently working on "exotic" armies for the late 18th Century and Napoleonic wars. I'm slowly putting together the flags I need but I'm having problems finding reference works on the Indian Flags. I've got all of the (Dis)Honourable East India Company flags done from around 1780ish to 1820 and I've managed to find a few for Mysore, The Mahrathas, Mughals, Rajputs, Marwar, Lahore and Sikhs -either from photos of actual flags or period, mainly Indian artwork, but I'm wondering if anyone can recommend a good book on the subject -preferably not "The Encyclopedia of Indian Military Flags from Earliest Times" which appears to be pretty poor on anything pre-British Raj. A really good reference book on what the non-sepoy Indian soldiery wore would be welcome too. I already have the Osprey books on Assay, The HEIC, Plassey, Mughals etc and Mollo on the EIC.

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP16 Apr 2018 1:58 p.m. PST

,,when you find one ..let me know..I just just the Princely India states flagswebsite.

Mad Malx16 Apr 2018 2:06 p.m. PST

Hi Jurgen! We've talked on FB! I've got some from the Princely States website and the World Statesman site too.


These are some of the latest ones with Tippoo's French corps on it. Hope the link works

Durban Gamer17 Apr 2018 8:10 a.m. PST

Couldn't get photobucket to open and am also researching this. Could to see Tippoo's French Corps flag.

It seems main difference in appearance of Mysore and Maratha armies is in the flags. Marathas liked brown or orange flags with a wheel-like symbol of the sun for war flags. The turbans for both armies seem to be fairly similar? I suspect better uniformed Maratha units may have favoured orange turbans (their colour of war and bravery). As opposed to pinkish red turbans of some Mysore units. Both had elite grenadier sepoy units imitating those of the British forces.

Mad Malx18 Apr 2018 1:24 p.m. PST

Seems to have worked! These are the general Rajput ones,








Mad Malx18 Apr 2018 1:46 p.m. PST

These are taken from actual flags, drawings in books or from period paintings, Indian and European. On the East Indian ones I've varied the colours. Most flags I've seen seem to be based more on the flags of "Princely States" than anything else. I'm also waiting to hear from a chap down in London who is going to try to send me photos of an MS on the flags in Chelsea Hospital.
Uniform wise I've found that there were a wide range of "Tiger stripes" the "bubris" of the Mysorean regulars. The diamond pattern may be purely a European's eye view of them. It seems to me the tunic colour within a Risala though turban and Sash colours could vary a lot. Again I'm basing this on period paintings. I also have the flags for all the HEIC battalions from around 1785ish to 1820.

Mad Malx19 Apr 2018 5:29 a.m. PST

Yet another try! Mysore first.

That might have done it!! Can you see just see this one Durban Gamer or the whole album??

wangrin19 Apr 2018 6:51 a.m. PST

Some pictures and coins representing possible Mysorean flags : link

You will find some informations about Mysorean army here : link

Mad Malx19 Apr 2018 7:04 a.m. PST

Thanks Wangrin, I have some of these.Does my link work? I saw some of your work on the Total War forum -very nice indeed! You mention the "Encyclopaedia of Indian Military Systems" there. is there actually anything about dress or flags in it? I've found I can access it through the British Library but it will take an hours drive each way so it's not something to do if the books aren't worth it!

Durban Gamer22 Apr 2018 6:29 a.m. PST

HI Malx. Thanks for your trouble in kindly trying again. Alas, the link just gives an outdated item message and sends me on to join something that I couldn't manage all the hoops of.

Wangrin your links opened easily. Very interesting to see that the 2 flags/sides are in that deep pinkish red shown for turbans of Mysore regular infantry. One source I read reckoned that Indian army flags gradually went from triangle shape 17th century, to rectangle shape slowly coming in 18th century, in imitation of the successful European military style.

Mad Malx22 Apr 2018 1:35 p.m. PST

Don't know what else to try. PM me and I'll try and send them direct to you. I've got the crimson silk flag Wangrin put on done as a printable flag. I believe it's actually from Lahore though I'm not sure whether it's Sikh or Hindi with having the god on it. How did you do your link Wangrin?

wangrin23 Apr 2018 2:28 a.m. PST


About the "Encyclopaedia of Indian Military Systems", none of its volume is about Mysore.
Vol. 3 is about Mughals
Vol. 4 is about Maratha
Vol. 5 is about Sikhs
Vol. 6 is about EIC

Few informations about uniforms, but sometimes about weapons and clothes worn.

Here are several other links :
The Mysore Wars link
Mysorean greens from Golconda Rising link
Mysorean regulars link

A contemporary account of Tipu's troops reads:

"The dress of the regular infantry is generally of purple woollen stuff, with white diamond formed spots on it, which is called the tyger jacket. On the head is worn a muslin turban, of a red colour, and round the waist a cumberband, or sash, of the same. Their legs and feet are entirely naked, excepting a kind of sandal slipper, worn to protect their soles from the roughness of the march. They are accoutred with black leather cross belts, and commonly armed with musquets of French manufacture; though some are made in their own country; over the lock is a leather covering, to defend it from dampness."

Since I'm unable to upload pictures on noelshack, I simply use gdrive sharing functionalityto create links.
I'm unable to open photobucket links too.

wangrin23 Apr 2018 2:35 a.m. PST

Finally, Noelshack work again…

Few pictures :

Mysore :





Maratha :




Mad Malx23 Apr 2018 4:53 a.m. PST

Thanks Wangrin. It doesn't sound like the encyclopaedia is up to much! I have these images already -LOVE that saddle!! I think I must have just about every one for the period that's online!! One very good source is the painting of Polilur from Tippoo's palace at Seringapatam which shows a much more varied dress. I've switched the flags to Flikr so I'll try sending them again.[

Mad Malx23 Apr 2018 5:11 a.m. PST

Durban Gamer23 Apr 2018 1:37 p.m. PST

Hi Malx and Wangrin

Many thanks indeed for all the pics and links, which I have managed to access and download. So nice that the 3 of us working on Mysore armies can find each other on TMP. I hope we can share any future info here. The flat pancake-like turban seems to have been in vogue in the 1770s -1780s. On British sepoys it was squarish in 1770s, becoming round in 1780s I think. Hutchinson paintings show them all blue, but the Bengal ones already have the sundial vertical pointer in the 1780s. Unfortunately, just tantalising bits of evidence to put together. Hoping to get time to read more of the primary sources over time and will report!

Mad Malx24 Apr 2018 6:25 a.m. PST

What do you think of the Mysore flags? They are all as near correct as I can get them.
The "diamond" pattern on the Mysore tunics is likely to be a European interpretation -probably by people who didn't get close enough to see what they really were! They were actually what were called "bubris" (after Babur allegedly) and are the "stripe" shapes on the flags. Even the Mysore bayonets were this shape. What scale are your armies in?
It was a friend on Facebook that first got me into the Mad world of Oriental armies -Mark Bevis who does the "MicrMark" army lists through his excellent "Tangiers to Tehran, A Wargamers Guide to the Armies of the Napoleonic and Pre-Colonial Eras, which got me interested enough to get David F Brown's "Persian Armies of the Napoleonic Era-Qajar dynasty 1773-1857" available as an e-book from Wargames vault. It's full of illustrations that cover parts of India too.
This list of books is all available to download except for Mollo. I'll try and add a couple more images at the end.
The History Of The Madras Army- Vols-1-4. Wilson

A History of the Mahrattasvols1-4. by James Grant Duff



A History of Tipu Sultan. Mohibbul Hasan

Tiger of Mysore:The Life and Death of Tipu Sultan. Denys Forrest.

I have read that Forrest also did a book describing the army of Mysore but I've not been able to find out anything about it.


EIC Vade Mecum. Vols1-2


The-Three-Presidencies-Of-India. J. Capper

A Narrative of the Campaign in India. Maj. Dirom

The Fall of the Mughul Empire of Hindustan. HG Keene

History of the services of the Madras artillery,vols 1-2. Maj. PJ Begbie

A History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan. R.Orme

The History of India, vols 2-6. JC Marshman

Trade in the Eastern Seas 1793-1813. CN Parkinson

The Miltary System of the Marathas. Surendra Nath Sen.

The Pirates of Malabar, and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago. John Biddulph

The presidential Armies of India. Col S Rivett-Carnac

Notes on Pondicherry: The French in india. By an officer of the Madras artillery.

India Under British Rule. J Talboys-Wheeler

India on the Eve of British Conquest. Sidney Owen

Letters from a Maratha Camp During 1809. TD Broughton

Military Memoirs of Mr George Thomas. W Francklin.
Thomas rose from the ranks to become a General in the service of the "native powers"

Chain of command: The military system of the Dutch East India Company 1655-1663 Tristan Mostert. (Master´s thesis, Department of History, Research Master of the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction Committee Prof. F. Gaastra, Prof. L. Blussé Submitted June 2007)

The Army of the Indian Moghuls: It's Organisation and Administration. William Irvine

The Armies of India. Boris Mollo. (reasonable section on the early army, great for facing colours)

Armies of the East India Company 1750–1850. S.Reid. (Osprey MAA 453)
Tipu at Polilur
Madras infantry flags

Mad Malx24 Apr 2018 6:50 a.m. PST

A word on the HEIC flags. These are based on an illustration of an actual flag with colours taken from Boris Mollo's Armies of India. A 3 flag system was used with the 1st being the Union flag overall, the 2nd was in the battalion or regimental colour with it's designation in a central wreath and the union in the upper staff canton. The 3rd was in regimental colour as above but with the HEIC coat of arms in the centre. Cavalry had a similar system but the 1st colour had the Royal coat of arms at it's centre on a field depending on which presidency the regiment belonged to -crimson for Madras and blue for Bombay and Bengal.

25 Apr 2018 1:57 a.m. PST

Bibliography : French military influence in India, Lt. Gen. Gurbir Mansingh, Knowledge World 2006
- Travencore (de Lannoy)
- Mysore
- Hyderabad (Raymond)
- Sindhias (de Boigne, Perron)
- Awadh
- Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab
- some illustrations and colour plates

Bibliography : Rivals of the Raj – Non-British Colonial Armies in Asia 1497-1941, Peter Abbott, Foundry Books 2010

wangrin25 Apr 2018 2:15 a.m. PST

Some Mysorean flags created for Empire Total War mod : Imperial Splendour

Flag based on both pictures and coins :
- link
Flags based on pictures (both triangular and rectangular shapes) :
- link

The "losange" or "tiger strip" could be based on Tiger stripes like these : link

Stripe model 1 link
Stripe model 2 : link
I can't remember what base I used to create the second one.

Pictures from Sriringapatna can be seen here : link

Mad Malx25 Apr 2018 5:01 a.m. PST

Cheers Wangrin. The flags are fantastic! What program do you use to do them please? I've already found the Seringapatam paintings -wonderful stuff. The tiger stripe is the shape in the links, it's called a "bubri."
"- Travencore (de Lannoy)
- Mysore
- Hyderabad (Raymond)
- Sindhias (de Boigne, Perron)
- Awadh
- Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab
- some illustrations and colour plates"
are these books or chapters in the French influence in India book?

wangrin25 Apr 2018 5:24 a.m. PST

I use (, this tool is easier to use than Photoshop and allow to work with layers and effects.

Chapters from "French military influence in India" :
- Travencore (de Lannoy)
- Mysore
- Hyderabad (Raymond)
- Sindhias (de Boigne, Perron)
- Awadh
- Sikh Kingdom of the Punjab
- some illustrations and colour plates
Few informations about uniforms, mostly about army organisation.

Mad Malx25 Apr 2018 12:20 p.m. PST

I've used for simple stuff but didn't realise how much better than MS paint it is! I shall go on a learning spree.I think it should work nicely on card buildings too. I've been using MS paint to do those -all the buildings from Waterloo, plus some on "Model Builder" which is pretty poor. I've also used the Canon Photo Studio 5 which is similar to photoshop but easier.

wangrin28 Apr 2018 3:38 a.m. PST

Some .pdn ( flags : link

- French East India Company (Compagnie des Indes orientales)
- Hyderabad
- Mughals
- Mysore
- Rajput
- Sikh
- Ottoman (yes, I know, it's not India… but I like it ^_^)

Mad Malx28 Apr 2018 4:58 a.m. PST

Thanks Wangrin! I'm getting the hang of now. It's a lot like the Canon program. I know I have the designs about right but now I should be able to clean up the artwork on them. The Ottoman flag is awesome! I already have a lot of Ottoman flags -they were the first of the Eastern armies I started working on, followed by the Qajar Persians. They are so refreshing after the same-ness of the European armies. I can recommend David F Brown's book, available from Wargames vault as an e-book as a starter for them.

Durban Gamer29 Apr 2018 9:10 a.m. PST

Dear Malx and Wangrin

Many thanks for the wonderful additional info and interpretations. Never realised there were so many useful books out the on the web. And the amazing flags I've downloaded. I have a big 15mm collection. Mostly Mini figs, Essex and Two Dragons. To make the pancake turbans on sepoys I convert Mini figs sepoys, using greenstuff.

Will be spending a lot of enjoyable time working through your many sources.

There is also a book: Final Struggles of the French in India.

Am currently painting my 15mm AWI. Slow because I research and work to a high standard. But will eventually be posting pics and AARs from my India 15mm. Will keep in touch!

Mad Malx30 Apr 2018 6:41 a.m. PST

Durban Gamer, Most of mine are Freikorp 15s from QRF/TSS -a mixture of the Mahratta/Sikh wars, French/British in India 1750/1800 (mercenary sepoys make great Mysore line and they do Bengali sepoys in Sundial turbans.) Mughal Indian and Renaissance Ottoman ranges with big guns from ECW etc. Black Hat miniatures do a Sikh wars range, some of which fit in well and they're "cheap as chips." Irregular do quite a lot of useful stuff -particularly in their "Early Colonial" and Mughal ranges and the "Generic Muslims". Lancashire games do some "Eastern levies" in their renaissance range that make nice Marathas and Mysoreans too and Donnington Miniatures have a few suitable figures in their Ottoman range. These are Irregulars Afghans from my Qajar Persian army.

and these are the first of my EIC sepoys (freikorp 15s) with their wrong flags. I really should give them the proper ones now I know what they should be! Gamer

01 May 2018 5:14 a.m. PST

Lovely figures Malx. I see you also like to paint to a high standard. Appreciate the figure refs and will be following in your footsteps as I paint 15mm India 1765-1810.

If I may ask 2 further questions:

the Madras flags for the HEIC 1785-1801 you posted are a wonderful discovery for me. Would you think that the Bombay and Bengal ones would have the same Company arms, but on perhaps different colour backgrounds?

In the 4th vol AWI British Grenadier scenario book series, John Ingham gives very specific uniform and dress details for the battle of Cuddalore. I'd like to check further but the only source he mentions is an Osprey which I have. Do you know of any of the old source books that give info on British dress – especially the peculiar white hat he says all European units on the British side wore at Cuddalore? Ingham says even the Hanoverians wore it.

Mad Malx01 May 2018 12:56 p.m. PST

I'll post the rest of the HEIC flags on here. The hat is shown in The Osprey book on the EIC 1750-1850 but you could get by with Royal Marine style hats from the Freikorp 15 Sikh wars range or the EIC Infantry in the 1750-1800 range.

I'm hoping "Britain's army in India from it's Origin to the conquest of Bengal" arrives tomorrow -a steal at £1.24 GBP on Amazon!

Flags. All units used a 3 flag system. Infantry #1 was the Union flag overall with a wreath in the centre with unit designation,#2 was a ground of the unit facing colour with the Union in the staff canto and again the unit designation within a wreath. #3 was similar to #2 but had the NEIC arms in the centre and as far as I can discover, the unit designation either in the upper fly corner or within the union.

Cavalry had #1 ground of Presidency colour -blue for Bombay and Bengal, Crimson for Madras with Union in upper staff and the Royal coat of arms in the centre, unit designation as above #3. #2 was as infantry #2 and #3 as infantry #3.

Units with white or red facings had white fields with a red St. George cross as for Royal army regiments and black facings the same on a black field.
I'm currently re-working the flags using instead of MS paint as I'm so impressed by how clean Wangrin's work is. but the design will stay the same as these. Can you let me know if these links work please?

]url] Gamer

02 May 2018 5:47 a.m. PST

Dear Malx

I really love having accurate flags on my units and so this latest post of yours feels like Christmas! Many, many thanks indeed! The only link which didn't download was the fourth from the top which I see has a different prefix from all the others. All the others have gone into my horse and musket India flags file!

Like yourself, I am retired (recently) and so at last can really get into things. Am currently putting most of my time and effort into the slow exacting disciplines of high quality modelling and painting. This is why I am rather behind on the information side.

Thanks for your thoughts on the unusual Cuddalore, British headgear. I will easily convert those figures by adding a little green stuff to Peter Pig AWI British regular infantry in slouch hat (very nice figures). I find Cuddalore especially fascinating since it offers a considerable amount of action involving a great variety of very colourful British, French and Mysore units. I'm currently just finishing regiment La Marck in 15mm, and I must say they are coming out beautifully!

Looking forward to seeing your Mysore command bases and Madras horse. Since we have very similar interests and are both working 15 mm, it would be nice to keep in direct touch (and maybe also Wangrin)? Please feel free to email me at fnzaal "at" if you would like to open up a more direct channel of communication? Even a one-liner would be fine if you are currently busy.

Warm regards, and looking forward to chatting more about our esoteric and fascinating period of gaming interest!

Mad Malx02 May 2018 10:20 a.m. PST

I think it must be this one


It's for the 1812 Bengal NI regiments 21-30.
The British army in India book arrived. It's a decent, easy read history with, unfortunately, little about the appearance of the native armies. JP. Lawford DID write "Charge with brig. Peter Young though so it's gamer friendly!

I also found another gem online. "The History of the Maratha Navy" which has information and illustrations I've been after for ages. Look up the title on Facebook and it will take you to the page where you can download it FOC!

I'll mail you the rest of the flags I have.

Durban Gamer03 May 2018 4:41 a.m. PST

Thanks Again Malx

I will try that last link for Bengal. Glad the book arrived. Will certainly be looking at the Navy book. There are so many source books out there. So it will be great to keep sharing ideas. Really looking forward to staying in touch with you, long-term.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.