DISCIPLINE & OBEDIENCE
Drapeaux of the French Army • Line & Light Infantry • 1791-94
Images Added October 2004
31st, 50th, 51st & 70th Regiments of Infantry of the Line • 10th Battalion of Chasseurs à Pied (1792-94)
In 1791 the infantry regiments of the French Army were stripped of their ancient titles and given numbers. Each line regiment was now to be composed of two battalions, while their light infantry companies were removed and formed into independent battalions of foot chasseurs (chasseurs à pied). In line with this reorganization, regimental colors of a new, standard pattern were introduced. The first battalion of each regiment was to carry a white flag with a white cross, a horizontal Tricolor canton and a blue/red border. The number of the regiment was placed within a wreath at the intersection of the cross. On the arms of the cross were gold fleurs-de-lis and the hopeful motto DISCIPLINE AND OBEDIENCE TO LAW. Many of these first battalion colors were converted from the regiments' existing colonels' colors, which were mostly white flags with white crosses. The second battalion of each regiment was to carry a flag with a white cross, the same devices as the first battalion's flag, and distinctive colors and designs in the four quarters. The independent battalions of chasseurs à pied were to carry flags like those of the first battalion of the line regiments, but with the addition of the letter "B" and a bugle horn, the traditional badge of light infantry. In all cases a Tricolor cravat was to be tied in a bow on the staff, just below the pike head. The flags themselves were 180cm square and made of silk.
The Swiss infantry regiments kept their old flags, but with a Tricolor cravat in place of the white royal cravat.
When France became a republic in 1792 the fleurs-de-lis were removed, covered up or replaced by a tricolor badge (as shown for the 1st Regiment), but otherwise these flags were not changed. In the reorganization of 1793-94, however, the regiments themselves were suppressed and replaced by infantry demi-brigades.
Note on the Illustrations: Two sets of colors are shown for each regiment—1791-92 on the left and 1792-94 on the right. Each set depicts the color of the 1st Battalion on the left and that of the 2nd Battalion is on the right. For the 10th Battalion of Chasseurs à Pied, both versions of the battalion color are shown.
|1st REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-Colonél Genéral)|
|6th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-Armagnac)|
|11th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-La Marine)|
|20th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-Cambrésis)|
|31st REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-Aunis)|
|45th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-La Couronne)|
|50th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-Hainaut)|
|51st REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-La Sarre)|
|70th REGIMENT OF INFANTRY OF THE LINE (ex-Médoc)|
|10th BATTALION OF FOOT CHASSEURS|