"BY GOD, THEY FRIGHTEN ME!"
 


 

BRITISH INFANTRY COLORS    NAPOLEONIC WARS
 

Images Added July 2014

27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot    1st Line Battalion, King's German Legion
 

Notes
 

After 1800, the colors of British regiments of foot were based on the second pattern of the Union Flag (with the Cross of St. Patrick placed over the Cross of St. Andrew). Otherwise, the previous system was continued, with each regiment carrying a King's Colour and a Regimental Colour, the latter with a field in the regimental facing color. As before, regiments with white, gray or black facings had a Regimental Colour with the Cross of St. George throughout on a white field for white or gray facings and on a black field for black facings. All royal regiments had dark blue facings. The union wreath now included shamrocks for Ireland.

In 1782, the Commander-in-Chief had promulgated a regulation assigning an English county affiliation to all foot regiments other than the Guards, regiments with royal titles and the highland regiments. The county affiliation was added in parenthesis to the regimental title as shown below. It became common to refer to foot regiments by their county affiliation, e.g. the Sussex Regiment for the 35th Foot. Some regiments also had traditional nicknames, such as the 42nd Foot, famously known as the Black Watch.

Most regiments' colors had within the wreath a scarlet, gold-edged shield bearing the regiment's number in gold Roman numerals. There were variations, however, since regiments with royal badges or "ancient devices" were permitted to bear them on their colors. The shape of the shield also varied, as illustrated for the 52nd and 79th Foot. As the years of war wore on, battle honors were added to the colors, sometimes in the form of badges such as the sphinx (for service in Egypt) and sometimes as inscriptions or scrolls.

The Foot Guards continued to carry company colors. Those of the Colonel's, Lieutenant-Colonel's and Major's Companies were scarlet with regimental badges, the latter two including a canton of the Union Flag. The rest were Union Flags with company badges and Roman numerals indicating the number of the company. Usually a Guards battalion would carry only two of its several company colors in the field. As a general rule, the Colonel's, Lieutenant-Colonel's or Major's Colour served the battalion as the King's Colour, and a company color as the Regimental Colour. The Guards colors depicted below are those believed to have been carried by the 1/1 Guards and the 2/3 Guards at Waterloo.

The title of this page is taken from a remark attributed to the Duke of Wellington as he inspected newly arrived replacements for his army in the Peninsula: "I don't know if these men will frighten the enemy, but by God they frighten me!"

Note on the Illustrations: Except for the Guards battalions, for each regiment the King's Colour is shown to the left and the Regimental Colour to the right.

Credit: These drawings are based on images and information from Alan Pendlebury's outstanding site devoted to Napoleonic Wargaming Flags.
 

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1st BATTALION, 1st FOOT GUARDS
Colonel's Colour    2nd Company Colour

 

2nd BATTALION, 3rd FOOT GUARDS
Lieutenant-Colonel's Colour    11th Company Colour

 

4th REGIMENT OF FOOT (THE KING'S OWN)

 

27th (INNISLILLING) REGIMENT OF FOOT

 

33rd REGIMENT OF FOOT (1st WEST RIDING)

 

35th REGIMENT OF FOOT (SUSSEX)

 

42nd (ROYAL HIGHLAND) REGIMENT OF FOOT
 (THE BLACK WATCH)

 

52nd REGIMENT OF FOOT
(OXFORDSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY)

 

64th REGIMENT OF FOOT (2nd STAFFORDSHIRE)

 

69th REGIMENT OF FOOT (SOUTH LINCOLN)

 

79th REGIMENT OF FOOT
(CAMERONIAN HIGHLANDERS)

 

91st REGIMENT OF FOOT

 

1st LINE BATTALION, KING'S GERMAN LEGION
 

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