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Queen's Colours (Canada)

Regimental Colours

Last modified: 2013-06-28 by rob raeside
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Infantry: all regiments of which have two colours.

All colours are silk, 36 x 45 inches, with a 2-inch fringe and gold-and-crimson cord and tassels. The finial for all ground force colours is the crest of Canada (a lion statant guardant royally crowned and holding a maple leaf in his right forepaw) cast in gilt brass.

Foot Guards (Governor General's Foot Guards and Grenadier Guards of Canada)

1. Sovereign's Colour. Crimson field, gold and crimson fringe. A regimental device appears in the center with battle honors inscribed on gold scrolls arrayed in vertical rows. The badges used are specific to each company of the regiment concerned and rotate as colours are periodically replaced.

2. Regimental Colour. The national flag of Canada in silk, 36 x 45 in, gold and crimson fringe, cord and tassels. The regimental badge appears on the center of the maple leaf within a scarlet circlet inscribed with the name of the regiment in gold letters and ensigned with the royal crown. Battle honors appear on gold scrolls arrayed in vertical rows on the red stripes of the flag.

Guards companies also carry camp colours approximately 20 inches in the fly.

Infantry of the Line

1. Queen's Colour. The national flag of Canada, as for the regimental colour of Guards regiments, but without battle honours.

2. Regimental Colour. A silk flag, 36 x 45 in, in the color of the regimental facings, except that if the facings are white or scarlet the flag is white with a red St. George's cross, and if they are black it is black with a red St. George's cross. Regiments without a designated facing color use blue. The fringe is gold and the facing color. The regimental badge is centered on the flag within a red circlet inscribed with the name of the regiment in gold, ensigned with a royal crown and surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves "in autumnal colors." Highland regiments use a wreath of maple leaves and thistles. The regimental motto is inscribed on a scroll tied at the center at the base of the wreath. Battle honors appear on gold scrolls on each side of the badge, either in vertical rows or superimposed on a large laurel wreath surrounding the badge. Rifle regiments carry no colors.

Calvary and Armor

In common with other British-derived forces, Canadian cavalry regiments--or, in modern times, armored regiments--carry either a standard or a guidon as the equivalent of a regimental color.

In Canada, only the Governor-General's Horse Guards carries the standard. As is the case with British forces, it is made of crimson silk damask, 26 x 29.5 in, with a 2-in gold fringe and gold and crimson cord and tassels. The regimental badge appears in the center of a red circlet inscribed with the name of the unit in gold, surrounded by a wreath of autumnal-colored maple leaves, and ensigned with the royal crown. In the upper hoist and lower fly is a white horse of Hanover, while the abbreviation "GGHG" appears in the upper fly and lower hoist on a dark blue background surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves. Regimental distinctions, honors, and devices are arrayed on the flag, with honors appearing on small gold scrolls aligned in vertical rows. The regimental motto appears on a scroll tied at the center of the wreath surrounding the badge. As is the case for all Canadian land force regiments, the finial is the crest of Canada (a lion statant guardant royally crowned and holding a maple leaf in his right forepaw) cast in gilt brass.

Other cavalry and armor regiments carry a guidon, also made of crimson silk, 27 x 41 in, curving to the fly, which is forked into a swallowtail. The fringe is gold and the cord and tassels of gold and the regiment's facing color. The regimental badge appears in the center of a red circlet inscribed with the name of the unit in gold, surrounded by a wreath of "autumn-tinted" maple leaves, and ensigned with the royal crown. In the upper hoist and lower fly, units with a history as horse cavalry have the white horse of Hanover, while those that were first raised as armor have a white ram. The abbreviation for the regiment's name appears in the upper fly and lower hoist on a background of the facing color surrounded by a wreath of autumnal-colored maple leaves. Regimental distinctions, honors, and devices are arrayed on the flag, with honors appearing on small gold scrolls aligned in vertical rows. The regimental motto appears on a scroll tied at the center of the wreath surrounding the badge. The finial, once again, is the crest of Canada.

Maritime Command

Queen's Color.

[Queen's Maritime color] image by Joseph McMillan and Graham Bartram

White silk, 36 x 45 inches, with the national flag of Canada in the canton. In the center is the royal cipher on a blue background within a circlet of roses ensigned with the royal crown, while in the lower fly is the mark of the Navy, a flying eagle affronté superimposed on a fouled anchor ensigned with a royal crown, all in dark blue. Gold and silver fringe, cord and tassels. (Note: fringe is a surprise, since the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy colors omit it. But the article by Harold Diceman cited below has a picture of the official design sheet, and it shows the fringe.)

Air Command

Queen's Colour. A silk national flag of Canada with a red circlet on the maple leaf inscribed with the name of the command, surrounding the royal cipher, and ensigned with the royal crown. The finial is the crest of Canada (a lion statant guardant royally crowned and holding a maple leaf in his right forepaw) cast in gilt brass. [Again, a surprise. This is merely the same pattern used as the Queen's Colour for army regiments. I would have expected light blue with the national flag for a canton, the Canadian aircraft marking in the fly, and maybe the royal cipher or something in the center.]

Air Command Colour. Light blue with the command badge in the center and a gold maple leaf in each corner, stems outward. The finial is the crest of Canada (a lion statant guardant royally crowned and holding a maple leaf in his right forepaw) cast in gilt brass.

Air Command Operational Squadrons

Standard. Similar to the squadron standard for the RAF and other Commonwealth air forces. Light blue silk, 32 x 48 inches, with the squadron badge in the center surrounded by a border of the floral emblems of the ten provinces of Canada embroidered in colored silk. Up to eight battle honors are inscribed on either side of the badge in black letters on white scrolls. If an odd number of honors are carried, one is positioned directly below the badge. The 2-inch fringe, cord, and tassels are gold and light blue. The finial is a gilt eagle with wings elevated.

Sources:

http://www.dnd.ca/menu/maple/vol_4/vol4_27/Entrenous/4-15.pdf

Harold Diceman, "Modern Canadian Military Flags," Flag Bulletin 19:127-138 (1980)

Joseph A. McMillan, 11-15 February 2002


Previous colours of the Royal Canadian Navy were the same as the colours of other royal navies, and did not have a fringe. The present colour does; the fringe is clearly visible in photographs.

The King approved the use of a service colour by the RCN in 1925. Two were purchased, one for Atlantic Command in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and one for Pacific Command in Esquimalt, British Columbia. In 1936 two replacement colours bearing the cipher of George VI were ordered. The old colours were laid-up in 1937 when the new colours were delivered. The Pacific Command Colour was formally presented by HM King George VI on 30th May 1939 in Victoria, B.C.. This was considered to include the consecration and presentation of the Atlantic Command Colour as well.

When HM Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father in 1952 it was decided that Naval Colours would not be replaced until worn out. They were known as Queen's Colours, even though they still bore the late King's cypher. A White Ensign-style colour with the Queen's cipher was formally presented in Halifax by HM Queen Elizabeth II, on 1st August 1959. The present Queen's Colour was presented by HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 1979.
David Prothero, 19 February 2002