Military colours, standards and guidons

coloursregimental coloursguidonregimental colourcolorscolourstandardQueen's Colourmilitary standardregimental colors
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago.wikipedia
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Colour guard

color guardcolorguardcolors presentation
Regiments tended to adopt "colour guards", composed of experienced or élite soldiers, to protect their colours.
In military organizations, a colour guard (or color guard) is a detachment of soldiers assigned to the protection of regimental colours.

Battle honours of the British and Imperial Armies

battle honoursbattle honourBattle honouHonorary Distinction
The colours of the five regiments of Foot Guards have the pattern of the line infantry reversed, with the Queen's Colour being crimson with the regimental insignia and honours and the Regimental Colour a variation of the Union Flag with the battle honours embroidered.
The first battle honour was the motto Virtutis Namurcensis Præmium (Reward for valour at Namur), ordered by King William III to be emblazoned on the colour of the 18th Regiment of Foot, later the Royal Irish Regiment, for their part in the Siege of Namur in 1695.

National flag

nationalflagnational flags
These are large flags, usually 36 in × 45 in, and mounted on a half pike which is 8 ft 7½ in long; the King's/Queen's Colour is usually a version of the country's national flag, often trimmed with gold fabric, and with the regiment's insignia placed in the centre.
Historically, flags originate as military standards, used as field signs.

Battle honour

battle honoursUbiquetheatre honour
Colours may be inscribed with the names of battles or other symbols representing former achievements (see battle honours).
Although the granting of battle honours had already been in place at the time, it was not until 1784 that infantry units were authorised to bear battle honours on their colours.

Gloucestershire Regiment

The Gloucestershire RegimentGloucestersGlosters
In the UK, 41 Commando, Royal Marines and the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment were also awarded the PUC and permitted to display the streamer of their regimental colours.
Shortly after celebrating its tercentenary in 1994, the regiment, which carried more battle honours on its colours than any other regiment of the line, was merged with the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment to form the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.

Queen's Truncheon

In place of a Regimental Colour, the Gurkhas carry the Queen's Truncheon.
The Queen's Truncheon is a ceremonial staff carried by the Royal Gurkha Rifles that serves as the equivalent of and is carried as the Colour.

Aquila (Roman)

aquilaeagleeagles
Atop of the staff of colours of the Napoleonic army the Imperial Eagle (modelled after the Ancient Roman Aquila) was placed, which actually rose to be more important symbol of the regiment than colours itself.
An aquila, or eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion.

French Imperial Eagle

EaglesImperial Eagleregimental eagle
Atop of the staff of colours of the Napoleonic army the Imperial Eagle (modelled after the Ancient Roman Aquila) was placed, which actually rose to be more important symbol of the regiment than colours itself.
Although they were presented with regimental colours, the regiments of Napoléon I tended to carry at their head the Imperial Eagle.

Canadian Army

CanadianArmyCanada
In the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) regiments designated horse guards and dragoon guards, along with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, have regimental standards. RCAC standards have a crimson field and the CSOR standard has a tan field. RCAC regiments other than horse guards and dragoon guards have crimson regimental guidons. Each battalion of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, except those of rifle regiments, has a stand of two colours: a queen's colour and a regimental colour. For foot guards, the queen's colours have a crimson field, and the regimental colours are based on the Canadian national flag. For other infantry regiments, the queen's colours are based on the national flag, and the regimental colours are of the regimental facing colour. Only the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery uses guns for its colours. The rifle regiments share the traditions of the former British rifle regiments of having their battle honours carried on their drums.
Other traditions such as battle honours and colours have been maintained by Canadian regiments as well.

Sri Lanka Air Force

SLAFAir ForceRoyal Ceylon Air Force
Sri Lanka Air Force – 1976
On March 31, 1976 the SLAF was awarded the President's Colour.

Foot guards

GuardsguardsmanGuard
The colours of the five regiments of Foot Guards have the pattern of the line infantry reversed, with the Queen's Colour being crimson with the regimental insignia and honours and the Regimental Colour a variation of the Union Flag with the battle honours embroidered.
The first three regiments each have a separate incremental company, which keep custody of the colours and traditions of the currently dormant 2nd Battalions.

RAF Regiment

Royal Air Force RegimentRegimentfield squadron
RAF Regiment, presented 17 March 1953.
The King, however, died around this time and Queen Elizabeth II instead presented the Queen's Colour a year later.

Yorkshire Regiment

The Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot)Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot)Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th & 33rd/76th Foot)
The 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), as the linear descendent, carries the honorary Queen's and Regimental Colours that were given to the 76th Regiment of Foot by the Honourable East India Company following their actions at Delhi and Allyghur.
At a ceremony outside the Town Hall the Regiment paraded two Guards of soldiers, who had recently returned from Iraq and the Colours of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), led by the Kings Division Band, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Vallings, the Battalion Commanding officer.

Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment

SLAF Regiment
SLAF Regiment – 2009
In March 2009, the SLAF Regiment was presented with the President’s Colours.

Head of the Royal Thai Armed Forces

Head of the Armed ForcesHead of the Thai Armed ForcesHead and Chief of the Thai Armed Forces
It also emphasizes his constitutional role as Head and Chief of the Thai Armed Forces (จอมทัพไทย: Chomthap Thai).
The king participates in military activities and functions, including the presentation of ceremonial colours, based on the national flag, to various units of the armed forces and the presentation of ceremonial swords to all graduating officers of the military academies.

Royal Highland Fusiliers

Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment)The Royal Highland FusiliersThe Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland
The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland carries the Assaye Colour awarded as an honorary colour to the 74th Regiment of Foot following the Battle of Assaye, which is paraded every year on Assaye Day.
The regiment and current battalion has the distinction among British infantry regiments of carrying three Colours on parade.

No. 1 Wing SLAF

No. 1 Flying Training WingNo 1 Flight Training WingNo. 01 Flying Training Wing
No. 1 Flying Training Wing – 2001
In March 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the Sri Lanka Air Force the unit was presented the President’s Colours.

No. 1 School of Technical Training RAF

No. 1 School of Technical TrainingNo. 1 School of Technical Training (Boys)No 1 School of Technical Training
No. 1 School of Technical Training RAF, approved 27 December 1947, presented 25 July 1952.
In July 1952, No.1 S of TT received royal recognition when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II presented the School with a colour.

Trooping the Colour

Trooping of the Colourcolour troopedtrooping of the colours
Trooping the Colour
On battlefields, a regiment's colours, or flags, were used as rallying points.

Sri Lanka Light Infantry

SLLICeylon Light InfantryLight Infantry
Sri Lanka Light Infantry – 1978
The regimental colours were awarded in 1921 and on 22 March 1922 the Ceylon Light Infantry was awarded with the King's and the Regimental Colours.

The Rifles

2nd Battalion, The Rifles4th Battalion, The RiflesRifles
Today, the two rifle regiments in the British Army, The Rifles and the Royal Gurkha Rifles carry their battle honours on their drums, while the Royal Green Jackets also had theirs inscribed on their cap badge; this tradition is maintained by The Rifles, who wear the Maltese Cross badge of the Royal Green Jackets, inscribed with the regimental honours, as the belt badge.
Maltese Cross - the Maltese Cross of the Royal Green Jackets is worn as a buckle on the cross belt, and will contain the regiment's representative battle honours; currently one space is kept free for future honours. In accordance with the tradition of rifle regiments, the regiment does not carry colours.

Flag of Spain

Spanish flagSpainflag
Standard colours: Units of the Spanish Armed Forces have a single colour based on the national flag. This has the coat of arms in the centre of the flag, surrounded by the regiment's name in black lettering. Red and yellow tassles are attached to the finial which have the battle honours embroidered on them. Formerly a white regimental colour with the unit insignia on the middle of a red Cross of Burgundy or at the sides was used by these units until the adoption of the present colours design in 1843.
The Royal Guidon (Guión), the monarch's military personal ensign, is described by Rule 1 of Royal Decree 527/2014, an amendment to Title II, Rule 1 of Spanish Royal Decree 1511/1977.

No. 9 Squadron SLAF

No. 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron
No. 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron – 2009
In March 2009, the squadron was presented with the President’s Colours.

RAF Halton

HaltonHalton CampRAF Hospital Halton
RAF Halton, presented 31 October 1997.
In July 1952 the uncrowned Queen Elizabeth II performed one of her first duties as Sovereign by presenting a colour to Number 1 School of Technical Training; the first to be awarded to an apprentice school, and the first to be presented to an 'other rank' when Sergeant Apprentice Hines, of the 63rd Entry, received the colour from Her Majesty.

Flags of the United States Armed Forces

Flag of the Secretary of Defensehas its own flagcommand flags
In the United States military, each branch has its own flag, an organizational color, sometimes also called a ceremonial flag.
The Bedford Flag was one of the first battle standards of the American military.