RUSSIAN EMPIRE
 


 
COLORS OF INFANTRY REGIMENTS  •  REGULATIONS OF 1803
 

Images Added October 2006

Litov Guards Regiment  •  Smolensk & Ukrainian Inspections  •  Sveaborg Musketeer Regiment
 

Notes
 

In 1803 Tsar Alexander I decreed flags of a new pattern for the line infantry and an increase in the number of Inspections from five to thirteen. As previously, each regiment received one white flag and five colored flags. The white flags were now all white, the cross being almost indistinguishable. The colored flags had white corners and colored crosses, each Inspection being assigned a distinguishing color. Exceptions to this standard pattern were the colored flag for the St. Petersburg Inspection, which had red corners, and the flags for the Smolensk Inspection, which were all white. Regiments within each Inspection continued to be identified by the color of the staff. The new flags were the same size as those of the 1797 and 1800 patterns. Compared with the 1800 flags, the crosses were narrower, the scroll above the eagle's head was deleted, and the crowned cypher was changed from that of Paul I to that of Alexander I.

The 1803 pattern flag came to be the most common type of Russian military color during the Napoleonic Wars, though no wholesale replacement of earlier flags was ever carried out. In 1807 the Inspections were abolished and a divisional system was substituted, but all existing flags continued in service. The 1803 pattern survived the demise of the Inspections, being used for replacement flags and flags of newly raised guards and line infantry regiments up to 1813.

In 1806, "Colors of St. George," based on the 1803 pattern flag, began to be awarded to regiments for exceptionally brave deeds or distinguished conduct in battle. These flags bore inscriptions describing the action for which the regiment had been cited, and were carried on special staffs with a finial in the form of the Cross of St. George, and an orange and black cravat—the colors of the ribbon of the medal. The Cross of St. George was Tsarist Russia's highest decoration for valor.

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.
 


 

GUARDS INFANTRY

 

LITHUANIA GUARDS REGIMENT

 

LITOV GUARDS REGIMENT

 

LINE INFANTRY

 

BREST LITOVSK INSPECTION

 

CAUCASUS INSPECTION

 

CRIMEA INSPECTION

 

DNIESTER INSPECTION

 

FINLAND INSPECTION

 

KIEV INSPECTION

 

LITHUANIA INSPECTION

 

LIVONIA INSPECTION

 

MOSCOW INSPECTION

 

ORENBURG INSPECTION

 

ST. PETERSBURG INSPECTION

 

SIBERIA INSPECTION

 

SMOLENSK INSPECTION

 

UKRAINIAN INSPECTION

 

LINE INFANTRY SPECIAL ISSUES
Regiments Raised After 1807

 

BIELOSTOCK MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

SIMBIRSK MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

SVEABORG MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

TARNOPOL MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

"COLORS OF ST. GEORGE" WITH BATTLE HONORS

 

PERNOV MUSKETEER REGIMENT

 

SCHLUSSELBURG MUSKETEER REGIMENT
 

 

TROITSK MUSKETEER REGIMENT
 



BACK to RUSSIAN EMPIRE Page