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"British Napoleonic Colors" Topic

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Crow Bait25 Sep 2020 10:03 a.m. PST

Quick question. Would each Battalion in the army display the colors (both National and Unit)or would you only see this at the Brigade level?
If I am looking at a command stand with two flags displayed, which one would be the National flag, left or right?

BillyNM25 Sep 2020 10:20 a.m. PST

Each battalion would have a King's colour (union flag with device in the centre and honours) and a Regimental colour with the union flag in the upper canton and a base colour usually base done the regiment's facing colours. Both would be carried in the field and the King's colour should always be on the right as it take precedence.

Crow Bait25 Sep 2020 10:37 a.m. PST

Thanks BillyNM. That answers the questions perfectly.

C M DODSON25 Sep 2020 10:49 a.m. PST

Do not forget that whilst this is correct, for the Guards, their flag was the ‘Kings' colour and this meant it went on the right.

For the record the whole point of this was so that the commander could see which way the unit was positioned.

Best wishes,


Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 11:31 a.m. PST

It might also be useful to make it clear that there were no ‘command' flags for generals as there were in the American Civil War.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 1:21 p.m. PST

Do listen to C M Dodson for any Guards unit. It is so counter intuitive. What looks like the Union Flag today was not their King's Colour. Theirs was the Maroon flag with some emblem within and that went on the right therefore.

It gets worse than that because that flag varied according to the company carrying the colours on any day. (But you do not want to know that, because no-one else does. Just like the added lace for the Guards, the brass on the cartouche, the extra buckles on the cross belts etc)

Personal logo Artilleryman Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 3:16 p.m. PST

The Guards huh! Always have to be different! Just the same today.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse25 Sep 2020 3:25 p.m. PST

That problem was taken care of in the American Revolution. There, the Guards carried no Colours.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2020 5:21 p.m. PST

And remember that when we say the King's color goes on the right that means as you are standing in the front rank of the unit looking out towards the enemy, not as you are looking back at the unit.


Crow Bait25 Sep 2020 5:28 p.m. PST

Thanks for the replies.

Handlebarbleep26 Sep 2020 12:12 p.m. PST

@John the OFM

The Guards carried no Colours in the American War of Independence.

It's the other side that was having the Revoloution.

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