RUSSIAN EMPIRE
 


 
COLORS OF INFANTRY REGIMENTS    REGULATIONS OF 1796-97
 

Images Added April 2006

Moscow Grenadier Regiment    Apsheron & Ekaterinbourg Musketeer Regiments
 

Notes
 

In 1797, Tsar Paul I promulgated a decree establishing a new system of regimental colors for the line infantry of the Russian Army. The grenadier and musketeer regiments of the line consisted of nine companies in three battalions, and the scale of issue for the new colors reflected this organization. Each regiment received one white flag and nine colored flags. The first company of the first battalion carried the white flag and a colored flag, while the other eight companies carried a colored flag only.

The white flag, corresponding to the colonel's color or Liebfahne in other European armies, had a white cross and colored corners; the colored flag, corresponding to the regimental color in other armies, had a colored cross. Each regiment was assigned two or three distinguishing colors that were arranged so as to achieve a unique design. A great number of different color shades were used, resulting in some unusual and striking combinations. In the center of both flags were the crowned imperial arms, surrounded by a wreath, on a golden orange disk. The flags were about 142 cm square, made of silk, and carried on staffs about 3.15 meters long. The staffs were topped with a spearhead finial.

This simple, highly standardized system was abolished in 1800 when Paul I decided to reorganize the Russian Army and issue new, more elaborate Prussian-style colors. However, since no wholesale replacement of colors occurred at that time, the 1797-pattern flags remained in service for many more years, and possibly some were still in use as late as 1812.

The three Guards infantry regiments had received new colors in 1796. These were of the same size as the 1797 line infantry pattern and they were issued on the same scale: one white flag and nine colored flags per regiment. The field color for all colored flags was yellow, the three regiments being distinguished by differently colored diagonal rays. The central device for all Guards colors was a red tablet bearing the diagonal blue Cross of St. Andrew over a white cross, surrounded by a wreath. Over the top of the wreath was a scroll bearing the inscription "God with Us" on the obverse of the color and "God's Blessing" on the reverse. Gold imperial crowns in the corners were connected by a frame of laurel leaves. These Guards colors were replaced by new Prussian-style designs in 1800.

Credit: These drawings are based on images and information from Napflags, the outstanding Napoleonic flags site of Alan Pendlebury, and from Ian Croxall's excellent Warflag site. For each regiment, the white flag is shown on the left and the colored flag on the right.
 


 

GUARDS INFANTRY

 

SEMINOVSKI GUARDS REGIMENT

 

PREOBRAJENSKI GUARDS REGIMENT

 

ISMAILOVSKI GUARDS REGIMENT

 

LINE INFANTRY

 

LIEB GRENADIER REGIMENT

 

ST. PETERSBURG GRENADIER REGIMENT

 

MOSCOW GRENADIER REGIMENT

 

PAVLOV GRENADIER REGIMENT

 

SIBERIA GRENADIER REGIMENT

 

APSHERON MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

DNEIPER MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

EKATERINBOURG MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

KAZAN MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

KOURSK MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

MOSCOW MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

ORLOV MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

POLTAVA MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

RAIZAN MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

RIAZSK MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

SMOLENSK MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

SOFIA MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

STAROSKOL MUSKETEER REGIMENT
 

 

TOMSK MUSKETEER REGIMENT
 



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