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In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

Ancient Egypt
some 5,000 years ago. The
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
also made battle
standards Standard may refer to: Symbols * Colours, standards and guidons In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is ...
a part of their vast armies. It was formalized in the armies of Europe in the
High Middle Ages The High Middle Ages, or High Medieval Period, was the period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in musical c ...
, with standards being emblazoned with the commander's
coat of arms#REDIRECT coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the fu ...

coat of arms
.


General use

As armies became trained and adopted set formations, each
regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...
's ability to keep its formation was potentially critical to its, and therefore its army's, success. In the chaos of battle, not least due to the amount of dust and smoke on a battlefield, soldiers needed to be able to determine where their regiment was. Regimental
flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crochetin ...

flag
s are generally awarded to a regiment by a head of state during a ceremony. They were therefore treated with reverence as they represented the honour and traditions of the regiment. Colours may be inscribed with the names of battles or other symbols representing former achievements (see
battle honours A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags ("colours"), uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible. In European military t ...
). Regiments tended to adopt "
colour guard In military organizations, a colour guard (or color guard) is a detachment of soldiers assigned to the protection of regimental colours and the national flag. This duty is so prestigious that the colour is generally carried by a young officer ( ...
s", composed of experienced or élite soldiers, to protect their colours. As a result, the capture of an enemy's standard was considered as a great feat of arms. They are never capriciously destroyed – when too old to use they are replaced and then laid-up in museums, religious buildings and other places of significance to their regiment. However, in most modern armies, standing orders now call for the Colours to be intentionally destroyed if they are ever in jeopardy of being captured by the enemy. Due to the advent of modern weapons, and subsequent changes in tactics, Colours are no longer carried into battle, but continue to be used at events of formal character.


Colours


Americas


Argentina

Each unit of the
Argentine Armed Forces The Armed Forces of the Argentine Republic Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent entirely ...
, the
Argentine National Gendarmerie The Argentine National Gendarmerie ( es, Gendarmería Nacional Argentina, GNA) is the national gendarmerie force and corps of border guards of Argentina. The Argentine National Gendarmerie has a strength of 70,000. The Gendarmerie is primarily ...
, the
Argentine Federal Police The Argentine Federal Police ( es, Policía Federal Argentina or PFA) is the national civil police force The police are a constituted body of persons empowered by a state, with the aim to enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health ...
and the
Argentine Naval Prefecture The Argentine Naval Prefecture ( es, Prefectura Naval Argentina or PNA) is a service of the Argentina Interior Ministry, Ministry charged with protecting the country's rivers and maritime territory. It therefore fulfills the functions of other cou ...
bears the national colours, called National War Flag, which are the national flag with the unit's name embroidered on it in gold thread. The colours are carried by the unit's most junior officer, escorted by two NCOs, except in academies and schools, where it is carried by the top-ranked student of the senior course, and escorted by his or her second- and third-ranked classmates. If a decoration has been awarded to the unit, it's attached to the national colours' cravat. The national colours are never dipped in salute, except to salute another national colours which pass by or are being the subject of a special honour. Besides the national colours, each unit has its unique regimental colours, normally in the arm or service's colour background, with the unit's coat of arms on it. Units which were made part of the
Army of the Andes An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...

Army of the Andes
during Argentina's independence war also carry the Flag of the Army of the Andes.


Brazil

Units of the
Brazilian Armed Forces The Brazilian Armed Forces ( pt, Forças Armadas Brasileiras, ) is the unified military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an ...
carry a stand of two Colours, differing per service. The standard of the
Brazilian Army The Brazilian Army ( pt, Exército Brasileiro) is the land arm of the Brazilian Armed Forces. The Brazilian Army has fought in several international conflicts, mostly in South America during the 19th century. In the 20th century, it fought on the ...
measures 80 × 120 cm, white with the Army
coat of arms#REDIRECT coat of arms A coat of arms is a heraldry, heraldic communication design, visual design on an escutcheon (heraldry), escutcheon (i.e., shield), surcoat, or tabard. The coat of arms on an escutcheon forms the central element of the fu ...

coat of arms
in the centre, trimmed with gold fringe. The name of the service is inscribed in gold letters on a green scroll beneath the shield. Above the shield is a knight's helmet with red and sky blue mantling. The staff is topped by a nickel-plated lance-head
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
, 32 cm high. Below the lance-head, there is a cravat (''laço militar'') divided lengthwise, sky blue and red, with a gold fringe at the end, tied in a bow and fastened with a cockade of blue with the
Southern Cross Crux () is a constellation A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or an inanimate obje ...

Southern Cross
in white stars, red, and blue. Ten red streamers with campaign honours inscribed in sky blue letters are also attached below the lance-head. The staff is 212 cm long, not including the lance-head, and 3.5 cm in diameter. It is covered in sky blue velvet with a red spiral strip. The colour belt is 10 cm in width, covered with sky blue velvet with red velvet stripes. The
Brazilian Navy ) , colors= Blue Blue is one of the three of pigments in painting and traditional , as well as in the . It lies between and on the of . The eye perceives blue when observing light with a between approximately 450 and 495 s. Most blues c ...
's flag uses dark blue colours; the
Brazilian Air Force "Wings that protect the country" , colours = , colours_label = , march = s:Hino dos Aviadores, Hino dos Aviadores , mascot = , anniversaries ...

Brazilian Air Force
flag uses ultramarine blue. Brazilian military units also carry the
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
as a National Colour. This is in the dimensions 90 × 128 cm. It is mounted on the same size staff and with the same finial as the Army standard, but the cravat is divided lengthwise yellow and green, with a gold fringe at the end, tied in a bow and fastened with a cockade of blue with the Cruzeiro do Sul in white stars, yellow, and green. The staff is covered in green velvet with a yellow spiral strip. The colour belt is 10 cm in width, covered with green velvet with yellow velvet stripes of width and number varying with the rank of the organization's commander. Unit colours differ per service branch and speciality.


Chile

Units of the
Chilean Army The Chilean Army ( es, Ejército de Chile) is the land arm of the Military of Chile The Chilean Armed Forces ( es, Fuerzas Armadas de Chile) is the unified military organization comprising the Chilean Army, Air Force and Navy. The President of C ...
carry one main colour, known as the ''estandarte de combate'' (combat standard). This is the same as the
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
, but with an embroidered star and with the unit designation, honorific title, founding date and place, and, depending on the unit, other historic information and honours embroidered diagonally across the fly in gold. The flag is also trimmed with gold fringe. It is mounted on a staff with a gilt
condor Condor is the common name for two species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the larges ...
finial; below the finial is a cravat in the national colours with decorations attached. In addition to the military colour, particularly distinguished units, and long serving units may carry a second Colour known as a ''bandera coronela'' (colonel's colour). This is a red field with a large white five-pointed star. In the angles of the star are the names and dates of battle honours surrounded by laurel wreaths, all in gold, while in an arc above the star is the designation of the unit, also in gold. The flag is also surrounded by gold fringe. Since 2017, the 16th Infantry Regiment Talca became the first to sport a blue coloured ''bandera coronela'' in honour of its origins as a city guard battalion formed during the War of the Pacific. The
Chilean Air Force "With full speed to the stars" , colours = Indigo InterGlobe Aviation Ltd IndiGo is an Indian headquartered in , , . It is the largest by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 57% domestic market share as of August 2021. It is a ...
, the
Chilean Navy The Chilean Navy ( es, Armada de Chile) is the naval warfare Naval warfare is combat Combat (French language, French for ''fight'') is a purposeful violence, violent conflict meant to physically harm or kill the opposition. Combat may be ...
, the
Carabineros de Chile Carabineros de Chile ( en, Carabiniers of Chile) are the Chilean national law enforcement police, who have jurisdiction over the entire national territory of Chile. Created in 1927, their mission is to maintain order and create public respect for ...

Carabineros de Chile
and the
Chilean Gendarmerie The Chilean Gendarmerie, in Spanish ''Gendarmería de Chile'', (abbreviated to ''GENCHI'') is the title of Chile's uniformed national prison service. The title is historic, and the service is not an actual gendarmerie.Shorter Oxford English Dict ...
all use the ''estandarte de combate'' as their main colour, and do not use the ''bandera coronela'' at all. The design is the same as in the Army's.


Colombia

The main state colours of the
Military Forces of Colombia The Military Forces of Colombia ( es, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, links=no) are the unified armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare ...
and the
National Police of Colombia The National Police of Colombia (Spanish: ''Policía Nacional de Colombia'') is the law enforcement agency#natpol, national police force of Colombia. Although the National Police is not part of the Military Forces of Colombia (Army, Navy, and Ai ...
is the
Flag of Colombia The national flag, national flag of Colombia symbolizes Colombian independence from Spain, gained on July 20, 1810. It is a horizontal tricolour (flag), tricolor of yellow, blue and red. The yellow stripe takes up a half of the flag and the blue ...

Flag of Colombia
with the
Coat of arms of Colombia The coat of arms of Colombia Colombia ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Colombia, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmass ...

Coat of arms of Colombia
in the centre inside a circle with a red border, used by all the services. These flags also carry medals and decorations attached to the flag. The MFC and the NPC also uses unit battle colours (brigade-level, regiment-level and battalion-level), that differ accordingly per service. All of them are gold fringed. Uniquely for Colombia, the battle colour tradition is mainly US-influcenced. In addition, the service colour is used as a secondary color, also gold fringed, to denote service affiliation. The Navy, given the British influence, uses the national flag as a State Colour for ships and commands, and few naval units have a full strand of colours.


Cuba

Cuba's military colours under the
Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces The Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces ( es, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias; FAR) are the military forces of Cuba. They include Cuban Revolutionary Army, ground forces, Cuban Revolutionary Navy, naval forces, Cuban Revolutionary Air and Air Defen ...
tend to follow a mix of the Soviet and US practice, as the
Cuban flag The national flag, national flag of Cuba ( es, link=yes, Bandera de Cuba) consists of five alternating stripes (three blue and two white) and a red equilateral triangle at the hoist, within which is a white five-pointed star. It was designed in 1 ...

Cuban flag
is treated as a National Colour. * Regiments/Wings: bicolour vertical flag with a white field in the centre with the
Coat of Arms of Cuba The Cuban coat of arms is the official heraldic symbol of Cuba. It consists of a Escutcheon (heraldry), shield, in front of a fasces crowned by the Phrygian cap, all Supporter, supported by an oak branch on one side and a laurel wreath on the oth ...

Coat of Arms of Cuba
and the service or branch colour at the sides * Infantry Divisions of the Revolutionary Army, Territorial Troops Militias, Youth Labour Army and Camilio Cienfuegos Military Schools System: Red with coat of arms with title on gold or white surrounding * Armoured Divisions: Black with coat of arms with title on white * Air Force Brigades: Blue with coat of arms with title on white surrounding * Antonio Maceo Military College and Jose Maceo Military College: Red and Black with coat of arms * Naval Academy: White with two blue stripes


El Salvador

El Salvador's military colours under the
Salvadoran Armed Forces The Armed Forces of El Salvador ( es, Fuerza Armada de El Salvador) are the official governmental military forces of El Salvador , national_anthem = '' Himno Nacional de El Salvador''( en, "National Anthem of El Salvador") , image_map = E ...
heavily follow US models, as the
Salvadoran flag
Salvadoran flag
is treated as a National Colour.


Mexico

The
Mexican Armed Forces The Mexican Armed Forces ( es, Fuerzas Armadas de México) are the military forces of the Mexico, United Mexican States. They are composed of two independent entities: the Mexican Army and the Mexican Navy. The Mexican Army includes the Mexican ...
use the
Flag of Mexico The flag of Mexico ( es, Bandera de México) is a vertical Tricolour (flag), tricolor of green, white, and red with Coat of arms of Mexico, the national coat of arms charge (heraldry), charged in the center of the white stripe. While the meani ...

Flag of Mexico
as the National Colour, with the unit inscription below the
Coat of arms of Mexico The coat of arms of Mexico ( es, Escudo Nacional de México, literally "national shield of Mexico") depicts a Mexican (golden) eagle perched on a prickly pear cactus ''Opuntia'', commonly called prickly pear, is a genus Genus (plural gener ...

Coat of arms of Mexico
and the official name of the country (''Estados Unidos Mexicanos'', "United Mexican States") above it. It is the standard design for infantry units and other general services. The same design is used as the National Standard of all cavalry and artillery units. As a uniformed federal force, the National Guard's units are entitled to a National Colour or Standard.


Nicaragua

Nicaragua's military colours under the
Nicaraguan Armed Forces The Nicaraguan Armed Forces are the military forces of Nicaragua. There are three branches: the Nicaraguan Navy, Navy, the Nicaraguan Army, Army, and Nicaraguan Air Force, Air Force. History National Guard, 1927–1979 The long years of strife ...
are heavily following US practice, as the
Nicaraguan flag The flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sew ...

Nicaraguan flag
is treated as a National Colour. The unit colours are in red, with a gold outline of Nicaragua with the service, unit or branch insignia in the centre.


United States

In the
United States military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between ...
, each branch has its own flag, an organizational colour, sometimes also called a ceremonial flag. Each of these is 4 ft 4 in × 5 ft 6 in, some using 2.5-inch gold fringe during specific instances. The ceremonial flag is paraded with a
National ColorNational colours are frequently part of a country's set of national symbol A national symbol is a symbol of any entity considering and manifesting itself to the world as a national community: the sovereign states but also nations and country, count ...

National Color
of equal dimensions in a
colour guard In military organizations, a colour guard (or color guard) is a detachment of soldiers assigned to the protection of regimental colours and the national flag. This duty is so prestigious that the colour is generally carried by a young officer ( ...
, with gold fringe as necessary. The National Color is never dipped in salute, but remains vertical at all times, while the organizational colours and any guidons are dipped as necessary. When the National Color is not cased, all persons salute the Colors. The
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
is a
nickel Nickel is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

nickel
or chrome-plated spearhead, though the Navy uses different finials on occasion. Each service attaches campaign/battle streamers, sometimes known as battle honours, for actions in which the service as a whole has taken part. These can either be war service streamers, which are in the colours of the appropriate
campaign medal A campaign medal is a military decoration Military awards and decorations are distinctions given as a mark of honor for military heroism, meritorious or outstanding service or achievement.United States Department of Defense, DoD Manual 1348.33, ...
and have the name of the campaign embroidered; or
unit citation A unit citation is a formal, honorary mention by high authority of a military unit's specific and outstanding performance, notably in battle. Similar mentions can also be made for individual soldiers. Alternatively or concurrently, the unit can be ...

unit citation
streamers, which have the name of the action embroidered and signify that the unit's performance in a specific action has been worthy of special mention. Units are also permitted to wear streamers of overseas awards they may have been presented with. These streamers are in the colours of the appropriate medal ribbon. The streamers are 3 ft × 2.75 in. The
Army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
, for instance, currently has 178 service streamers,U.S. Army Press Release
Army to award campaign participation credit and streamers for global war on terror
. Retrieved 16 August 2006.
embroidering the name of each battle on each, as does the
Air Force
Air Force
. The
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments, the littoral zone exten ...
and
Navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
instead embroider award devices onto streamers to consolidate them, having 62 and 34, respectively.


= United States Army

= In the Army, most regiments, battalions of regiments, and separate battalions also have a stand of colours. The first is the National Color, which is a version of the
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
trimmed with a gold fringe, and is the equivalent of the Queen's Colour in the British Army. The second is the Organizational Color, which is the equivalent of the regimental colour; this is the same dimensions as the National Color, but is of a single colour representing the branch of the service that the unit is from; each branch also has its own fringe colour, which the Organizational Color is trimmed with. In the centre of the colour, for regiments is the
eagle Eagle is the common name for many large birds of prey Birds of prey, also known as raptors, include species of bird Birds are a group of s constituting the Aves , characterised by s, toothless beaked jaws, the of eggs, a high ...

eagle
from the
Great Seal of the United States The Great Seal is a principal National symbols of the United States, national symbol of the United States. The phrase is used both for the physical seal (device), seal itself, which is kept by the United States Secretary of State, and more genera ...

Great Seal of the United States
, but with the regimental coat of arms in the shield. The eagle has in its beak a scroll bearing the regimental motto, with the crest of the regiment's coat of arms above it and the regiment's name below. Attached to the Organizational Color are the campaign and unit citation streamers awarded to the individual unit – these are equivalent to the battle honours embroidered directly onto the colours of British and Commonwealth units. The Organizational Color was carried in lieu of a National Color until shortly before the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, when the Stars and Stripes became the National Color.. Retrieved 16 August 2006. Civil War era units sometimes carried alternative Organizational Colors based on their home state flags or of other designs. Brigade, division and corps colours, also gold fringed, are in the facing colour of the service branch, for brigades the colour is of a bicolour design. Both have the command heraldic arms at the centre.


= United States Marine Corps

= In the Marine Corps, each battalion-sized unit or larger maintains a set of colours. The organizational color is identical to the Marine Corps battle color, except that the scroll has the unit's name instead of "United States Marine Corps". It also bears the streamers authorized to the unit, or scarlet and gold tassels if none are authorized. Fringe is never used on the national colors when carried by Marine Corps unit. Instead, a red, white, and blue tassel can be used to decorate.


= United States Navy

= Prior to Executive Order 10812 of 24 April 1959, the United States Navy used the U.S. Naval Infantry Battalion Flag as its unofficial colours. While the Navy uses a number of
maritime flag A maritime flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...
s, such as the
Ensign An ensign is the national flag flown on a vessel to indicate nationality. The ensign is the largest flag, generally flown at the stern (rear) of the ship while in port. The naval ensign (also known as war ensign), used on warships, may be differ ...
and
Jack of the United States The jack of the United States is a maritime flag A maritime flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of int ...

Jack of the United States
, the
Flag of the United States Navy The flag of the United States Navy consists of the seal of the U.S. Department of the Navy in the center, above a yellow scroll inscribed "United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") ...

Flag of the United States Navy
is normally seen only at ceremonies and parades. The display of streamers and fringe is consistent with that of the Marine Corps.


= United States Naval Construction Force

= When
Naval Construction Battalions United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the Navy Seabees, form the U.S. Naval Construction Force (NCF). The Seabee nickname is a heterograph of the first letters "C B" from the words Construction Battalion. Depending upon co ...
(Seabees) were first formed in 1942 the Naval Infantry Battalion Flag was mandated by Naval Regulation as the colours of the Naval Construction Force.FLAGS, PENNANTS & CUSTOMS,NTP 13 (B), NAVAL COMPUTER AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMAND, 4401 MASSACHUSETTS AVE., N.W., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20394-5460, section 17.11, p. 17–

/ref> Each battalion-sized unit or larger maintains a set of colours. The organizational colours of each unit is identical, excepting that each will have the unit's name and number in white on the flag. The display of streamers authorized to the unit is consistent with that of the Marine Corps.


= Other shore establishment units and commands of the Navy

= Organizational colours of the US Navy's other shore establishment commands and units and all command formations are in navy blue with the arms of the unit or command, with appropriate displayed streamers attached if authorized.


= United States Air Force

= United States Air Force, U.S. Air Force (USAF) groups have the same National Color as the Army; the Organizational Color is ultramarine blue, with the group's coat of arms beneath the USAF
crest Crest or CREST may refer to: Buildings *The Crest (Huntington, New York) The Crest is a historic house on Eatons Neck, New York, Eatons Neck in Suffolk County, New York. Although on the land mass of Eatons Neck, the house today is within the j ...
, which is an eagle on a cloud background. The fringe is in gold.


Uruguay

Aside from the three state colours (the
Flag of Uruguay The national flag of Uruguay () is one of the three official flags of Uruguay along with the flag of Artigas and the flag of the Treinta y Tres. It has a field of nine equal horizontal stripes alternating white and blue. The Flag terminology, ca ...

Flag of Uruguay
, the
Flag of Artigas The Flag of Artigas is one of the three official flags of Uruguay. Originally the national flag of the Liga Federal The Federal League or League of Free Peoples (Spanish: ''Liga Federal'' or ''Liga de los Pueblos Libres'') was an alliance of p ...

Flag of Artigas
and the
Flag of the Treinta y Tres The Flag of the Treinta y Tres is one of the three official Flag of Uruguay, flags of Uruguay, along with the Flag of Uruguay, National Flag of Uruguay and the Flag of Artigas. Inspired on the flag of the Oriental Province with an added motto it ...

Flag of the Treinta y Tres
), the Uruguayan military also has regimental colours that differ per service and unit. The national colours have armed colour guards while the regimental colour has none at all.


Venezuela

In the
National Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela The National Bolivarian Armed Forces ( es, Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana - FANB) of Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the ...
, aside from the
Flag of Venezuela The current eight stars flag of Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental ...

Flag of Venezuela
as the National Colour, there are also Organizational Colours for each of the 6 service branches and the Ministerial Colour of the Ministry of Defence and Unit Colours, which differ per service branch and arm. Every military unit from the Ministry of defence down to all individual units have a stand of colours like in the United Kingdom, but differ from the battalion to the service and the national level. The national flag, until the 1940s, served also as the unit state colour in the same manner as the National Colour of the United States Army and the State/Sovereign's Colour in the Commonwealth of Nations, and was based on the national flag but with the unit inscription replacing the stars in the centre in white lettering. The Venezuelan National Militia is the only service branch that uses a battle colour, similar to the flag of the Cuban July 26 Movement: the colour is red and black with the service name on it in white, and a separate colour is used for the service headquarters at the Montana Barracks in Caracas. Starting from July 2013 onward it was granted permission to use a 4th colour for its battalions: red with the eyes of the late President
Hugo Chávez Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías (, ; 28 July 1954 – 5 March 2013) was a Venezuelan politician who was president of Venezuela The president of Venezuela ( es, Presidente de Venezuela), officially known as the President of the Bolivarian ...

Hugo Chávez
and the inscription ''Chavez Vive'' (Chavez Lives On) below, topped with a scarlet star. Since 2014 the National Armed Forces uses two additional colours (the National Militia its 5th and 6th): that of the Supreme Commander's Colour, which is red bearing the portrait of the late President Chávez surrounded by a wreath and the Armed Forces Motto (''Independence and Socialist Fatherland, we will live on and triumph!'') below and the inscription ''Supreme Commander of the Bolivarian Revolution'' (''Comandante Supremo de la Revolucion Bolivariana'') and the eight golden stars from the National Flag above it, plus the Memorial Colour of the Liberator and Father of the Nation (introduced in the summer of 2016), which is of the same colour facing but with the wreath containing the portrait of Simon Bolivar, the eight gold stars and his title above and the words ''Freedom, Sovereignty, Independence'' (''Libertad, Soberania e Independencia'') below the title, all in gold. The colours used on the Unit Colours are as follows: * Red: Ministry of Defence (formerly grey), Service units, Marine Corps, National Militia, Military Technical Academy, Presidential Honour Guard Brigade, Caracas HQ Battalion of the Ministry of Defence * Dark blue and red: Venezuelan Army HQ and units directing to Army HQ, Division and Brigade Colours * Yellow: Infantry, Jungle Infantry, Airborne Units * Orange: Rangers * Green: Army Engineers * Dark blue: Venezuelan Army Special Forces * Black: Armor * Burgundy red: Artillery and Air Defence Artillery * Grey: Logistics, National Armed Forces Communications and Electronics School * Navy blue: Navy * Ultramarine blue: Air Force (formerly light green) * Maroon: National Guard * Dark blue and white:
Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela The Bolivarian Military University of Venezuela (in Spanish ''Universidad Militar Bolivariana de Venezuela''. The Military Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UMBV), is a National Experimental University of Venezuela, which operates under the mili ...
,
Military Academy of the Bolivarian Army The Military Academy of the Bolivarian Army (in Spanish ''Academia Militar del Ejército Bolivariano''), is an academy to train members of the officer corps of the Venezuelan Army, National Army of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It is also ...
and Armed Forces Health Sciences Academy * Light blue and white: Venezuelan Naval Academy * White: Venezuelan Army military high schools


Asia


Cambodia

In
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
, the Colours of the
Military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
and other uniformed institutions follow British, US, and French practice. It is basically a large version of the Cambodian flag with the unit name below in white in the bottom blue stripe.


People's Republic of China

The
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between St ...
is the overall body for the entire armed forces of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

People's Republic of China
, and is represented by a single flag, which serves as a ceremonial colour for all regiments and larger formations. This is based on the
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
, but has instead of the four smaller gold stars the Chinese characters for the numerals '8' and '1', which stands for the 1 August, which was the date in 1927 that the PLA was founded. When paraded, the flag is fringed with gold, and is mounted on a red and gold pole. However, each branch of the PLA has its own flag, based on the Army Flag, but are not taken out on public parades except with the same gold fringe as the latter: *Ground forces: This is the Army Flag with the lower 40% coloured green. *Navy: This is the Army flag except that the lower 40% has three blue and two white horizontal stripes of equal width. *Air Force: This is the Army Flag with the lower 40% coloured air force blue. *Rocket Forces: This is the Army Flag with the lower 40% being a gold stripe.
Banners of the PLA
Individual unit colours based on the PLA service colour would only come in a test basis beginning 2018, when mobile contingents of units of the Northern Theater Command who took part in the joint military exercise "Vostok 2018" with the
Russian Armed Forces The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, commonly known as the Russian Armed Forces, are the military forces of the Russian Federation Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning E ...
carried red colours with the unit name on the white fringe nearest the flagpole. Test battle colours were formerly given out to the
People's Armed Police ; Armed Police) , patch = PAP Armband.svg , patchcaption = Armband of the People's Armed Police , logo = Emblem of PAP Helicopter.svg , logocaption = Emblem of People's Armed Police helicopters , badge ...
in recent years before the practice was adopted by the PLA Ground Forces on an experimental period. During the 1 October 2019 civil military parade marking the
70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China The 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China () was observed with a series of ceremonial events including a grand military parade A military parade is a formation of soldiers whose movement is restricted by close ...
, a mobile colour guard unit debuted after many years the garrison colours awarded to every PLA formation and agency, which are red with the formation or agency name in Mandarin Chinese in white or gold lettering (but without the white fringe), with some colours bearing additional inscriptions bearing either battle honours or decorations awarded to the formation or agency concerned.


Republic of China

The
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...
of the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the sout ...

Republic of China
(Taiwan) also has a single flag that it uses, which is red, with a banner of the
Blue Sky with a White Sun The Blue Sky with a White Sun () serves as the design for the party flag and emblem of the Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan ...
in the centre. It has a red flagpole with silver spearhead
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
and red tassels immediately underneath. Individual units use a variation of the Army Flag as their own identifying Colour; this features a white strip next to the hoist, which has the unit's name in black characters, as well as a golden fringe (as is the case since 1961 for all units of the
Republic of China Armed Forces The Republic of China Armed Forces are the armed forces of the Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It shares Maritime boundary, maritime borders with the China, People's Republic ...
, but since 1947 were limited only to Army units above the regimental level). The army honour guard colour is in gold with the unit coat of arms in the centre. The
Republic of China Navy The Republic of China Navy (ROCN), also called the ROC Navy or Taiwan Navy, is the maritime branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces on Taiwan. Due to the political status of Taiwan, the service was formerly commonly called the Chinese Nav ...
's colours were red but with the seal of the Navy in a dark blue canton in the centre until the 1980s, the honour guard company's colours only use both dark blue and the Navy seal, which are the same colours used today in other ROCN units. For the
Republic of China Marine Corps The Republic of China Marine Corps (ROCMC; ), also known colloquially as the Taiwan Marine Corps, is the amphibious arm of the Republic of China Navy The Republic of China Navy (ROCN), also retroactively known as the Chinese Navy and commonly ...
, its unit battle colours, since 1960, mirrors that of the USMC but since the 1980s the unit name is on the white stripe near the hoist (just as the rest of the armed forces, formerly it was on a scroll similar to the USMC's). The colours used by the
Republic of China Air Force The Republic of China Air Force, commonly referred to as the Taiwanese Air Force is the military aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes airplane, fixed-wing a ...
are in sky blue with the air force seal in the centre (formerly it was red with the sky blue canton featuring the coat of arms, the old design only used today by the honour guard). Units of the
Republic of China Military Police The Republic of China Military Police (ROCMP; ) is a military police body under the Ministry of National Defense (Republic of China), Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan. Unlike military police in many other c ...
, formerly using a blue colour, now use a brown colour with the ROCMP arms. Units reporting to the Ministry of National Defence sport an orange colour with the coast arms of the Ministry in the centre. Garrison colours are in blue with the Kuomintang emblem, a wheat wreath and 3 interlocked circles in yellow, red and blue respectively. Reserve units carry a red colour while the Taiwan Reserve uses a green one. Only the following military academies sport their colours as the ROCAF colour is used by the
Republic of China Air Force Academy The Republic of China Air Force Academy (CAFA; ) is the service academy for the Republic of China Air Force, air force of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and is located in Gangshan District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. History Mainland China The Republ ...
: *
Republic of China Military Academy The Republic of China Military Academy (also known as ) is the service academy for the Republic of China Army, army of the Republic of China, located in Fengshan District, Kaohsiung. Previously known as the the military academy produced comm ...
*
Republic of China Naval Academy The Republic of China Naval Academy (CNA; ) is the service academy A military academy or service academy (United States service academies, in the United States) is an educational institution which prepares candidates for service in the offi ...
In all events whenever the ROCAF is involved, the ROC flag is used as the National colour.


Indonesia

In
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, the Colours of the
Military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
,
Police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the aim to law enforcement, enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citize ...
and other uniformed institutions are known as '. The Panji-panji is carried and escorted by a
Colour guard In military organizations, a colour guard (or color guard) is a detachment of soldiers assigned to the protection of regimental colours and the national flag. This duty is so prestigious that the colour is generally carried by a young officer ( ...
known as "Pataka", an abbreviation from ''Pasukan Tanda Kehormatan'' in
Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of the archipelago ** Indonesian ...

Indonesian
.


= National Colour and Service Colours

= During graduation and passing out parades, whenever the enlistment or commissioning pledge is taken, the
flag of Indonesia A flag is a piece of (most often rectangular or ) with a distinctive design and colours. It is used as a , a signalling device, or for decoration. The term ''flag'' is also used to refer to the employed, and flags have evolved into a general ...

flag of Indonesia
is used as a national colour. Mostly seen in parades are the service colours of the
Indonesian National Armed Forces , founded = as the ('People's Security Forces') , current_form = , disbanded = , branches = , headquarters = Cilangkap, Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of J ...
or TNI, the
Indonesian National Police '' , mottotranslated = (Serving the Nation) , formed = , preceding1 = , dissolved = , superseding = , employees = 590,000+ , volunteers = , budget = , nongovernment = ...
and the Municipal Police Units (known as the ). Within the TNI, service colours exist for all three service branches. means the military/service colours in
Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups of local inhabitants of the archipelago ** Indonesian ...

Indonesian
. *
Indonesian National Armed Forces , founded = as the ('People's Security Forces') , current_form = , disbanded = , branches = , headquarters = Cilangkap, Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of J ...
Tri-Service Colour: Red with coat of arms on the observe and the national emblem on the reverse *
Indonesian National Police '' , mottotranslated = (Serving the Nation) , formed = , preceding1 = , dissolved = , superseding = , employees = 590,000+ , volunteers = , budget = , nongovernment = ...
Colour: Black *
Municipal Police Municipal police are law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is any government agency responsible for the law enforcement, enforcement of the laws. Outside North America, such organizations are ...
Colour: Dark blue *
Indonesian Army The Indonesian Army ( id, Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Darat (TNI-AD), literally "''Indonesian National Military-Land Force''") is the army, land branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces. It has an estimated strength of 300,000 active ...

Indonesian Army
Colour: Green with coat of arms on the obverse *
Indonesian Navy The Indonesian Navy ( id, Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Laut, , Indonesian National Military-Naval Force, TNI-AL) is the naval branch of the Indonesian National Armed Forces , founded = as the ('People's Security Forces') ...

Indonesian Navy
Colour: Dark blue with coat of arms on the obverse *
Indonesian Air Force , colours = , colours_label = , march = , mascot = , anniversaries = , equipment = , equipment_label ...
Colour: Sky blue with coat of arms on the obverse


= Colours of commands and below

= and are terms used to identify colours below the command or service specialty level within the Armed Forces, National Police and Municipal Police. The former are for battalion/squadron level units and military territorial commands or equivalents, the latter for brigades/regiments, divisions/regional commands and service specialty and operational commands. They share a common design: the unit heraldic arms is featured in the observe while the emblem of its reporting formation is featured in the reverse side. Within the TNI,
Police The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the aim to law enforcement, enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citize ...
and
Municipal Police Municipal police are law enforcement agencies A law enforcement agency (LEA), in North American English, is any government agency responsible for the law enforcement, enforcement of the laws. Outside North America, such organizations are ...
, the speciality colours are: * Green:
Infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, i ...
, Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Military Commands, Operational and Administrative Commands, Agencies and Departments * Red: , battalions and brigades, Reserve Component * Black: Armor and Cavalry,
Air Force Infantry Air force ground forces and special forces are ground forces, and may include special forces, special operations units that are part of a nation's air force. Airmen assigned to such units may be trained, armed and equipped for Ground warfare, gro ...

Air Force Infantry
, Raider Infantry (Airborne and Mechanized units inclusive), Municipal Police, Police * Brown : Artillery and Air defence Artillery,
Indonesian Military Academy The Military Academy ( id, Akademi Militer or ) is a service academy of the Indonesian Army, part of the Indonesian National Armed Forces Academy (. Founded on the early stages of the Indonesian Revolutionary War and located in the city of Magelan ...
* Gray: Logistics and Transportation, Military Police, Army Services * Navy blue: Navy * Ultramarine blue: Air Force * Maroon: Mobile Brigade Corps (Police) * Magenta:
Marine Corps Marines, or naval infantry, are typically a military force trained to operate in littoral zones The littoral zone or nearshore is the part of a sea, lake, or river that is close to the shore. In coastal environments, the littoral zone exten ...
* Violet: Army Aviation Command


Democratic People's Republic of Korea

The
Korean People's Army The Korean People's Army (KPA; ) is the military force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict betwe ...

Korean People's Army
is the overall body for the entire armed forces of the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It borders China and Russia to the north, at the Yalu River, Yalu (Amnok) and Tu ...
. Until 1993 the KPA was represented by a single flag, which served as a ceremonial colour for all regiments, educational institutions and larger formations. The colour is on the basis of the
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
but with the
national emblem The national emblem means "national crest / shield emblem or logo design", which represents the image and dignity of the country's political power and people. It is one of the symbols of a country's political power.The national emblem is an embl ...

national emblem
replacing the star and on parades the colours were surrounded by gold fringe. The gold lettering in Hangul was until 1992 "For the unification and independence of the motherland and the people" (), replaced by the current motto "For the unification and independence of the motherland, and the freedom and happiness of the people" (). In 1993, as part of the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Korean War and the 45th since the founding of the DPRK, the old colour was replaced by the designs currently seen today in major holiday parades. All the colours share the same reverse with the emblem of the Worker's Party of Korea in gold and, save for the Worker-Peasant Red Guards, have identical gold letting in Hangul which states "Revolutionary armed forces of the Workers' Party of Korea, Korean People's Army nit name/ No.425 unit (in ceremonies)" (), the 425 number honouring the date (25 April) of the 1932 foundation of the People's Anti-Japanese Guerrilla Army, whose lineage is continued by the current service, but with the same colours as in the observe, which also shows the 4.25 mark in gold numbering. The
Guards unit Guards units ( be, Гвардыя, translit=Hvardyya, russian: Гвардия, translit=Gvardiya, uk, Гвардія, translit=Hvardiya) are elite units and formations in the armed forces of the former Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. off ...
s also have its badge beneath the 4.25 mark. These colours are in gold fringe when brought out in public parades in
Pyongyang Pyongyang (, , ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Pyongyang
, the national capital, and during state visits by the honour guards of the
Supreme Guard Command Supreme Guard Command () (also known as Unit 963, the Escort Bureau, Guard Command, Guard Bureau and the General Guard Bureau) is the personal bodyguard force tasked with the protection of North Korea North Korea, officially the Democ ...
, which is an inter-service formation unlike the rest of the command whose personnel are drawn from the Ground Forces. The 1948 and 1992 design colours, since the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the conclusion of the Korean War in 2013, have been brought out only by guards units and KPA battalions sporting historical dress uniforms of the 1940s and early 1950s, the 1992 colours have a gold Guards Badge outline in the reverse to denote Guards status of the unit's colour while the colours only use the 1948 arms and motto instead of the current one. * Ground Forces 1993–97 and 2012–present (also used as unofficial flag of the entire KPA): Colour in national flag colours but with KPA emblem in gold (sheaves of wheat and a stylized dam with a red star surrounded by a gold circle with wreath below) and gold Hangul motto in the obverse ** Ground Forces 1997–2011 (also used as unofficial flag of the entire KPA): Colour in national flag colours but with KPA emblem in gold and gold Hangul motto on the top and bottom blue stripes reading "Let us defend the headquarters of the revolution headed by the great Comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives!" () with the name of Kim Jong Il slightly enlarged, gold motto also used in the flags of the other branches * Air Force 1993–present: Emblem of KPA with wings (emblem updated in 2012), top large half in air force blue and small bottom half dark blue, with 6 alternating stripes (3 dark blue, 3 air force blue) below the emblem, formerly gold wings and a gold star above the emblem * Navy 1993–present: Emblem of KPA with gold four anchor above, bicolour of white and navy blue with 5 alternating stripes between the large stripes (3 dark blue, 2 white) * Strategic Forces (present colour): Green with emblem of the KPA and a larger wreath above a stylized top of a globe, with light yellow stripes below the globe * Special Operations Forces: Dark Blue with emblem of the KPA and a larger wreath, with the
Big Dipper The Big Dipper (American English, US, Canadian English, Canada) or the Plough (British English, UK, Hiberno-English, Ireland) is a large asterism (astronomy), asterism consisting of seven bright stars of the constellation Ursa Major; six of them ...
below the 4.25 mark * Revolutionary military schools: Red with KPA emblem and Hangul motto in gold lettering above and below * Worker-Peasant Red Guards: Red with service emblem (red star and gold wreath) in the centre and the Hangul motto in gold above and below the emblem in the observe, and name of the service in Hangul below the WPK emblem in the reverse, from 1997 to 2011 the gold Hangul motto read "Let's us defend the leadership of the revolution led by Comrade Kim Jong Il with our lives!"


Republic of Korea

The traditions of military unit and branch colours of the
Republic of Korea Armed Forces The Republic of Korea Armed Forces (), also known as the ROK Armed Forces, are the armed forces of South Korea. The ROK Armed Forces is one of the largest standing armed forces in the world with a reported personnel strength of 3,305,000 in 202 ...
are mostly derived from the Western practice with the
Flag of South Korea The flag of South Korea, also known as the Taegukgi (also spelled as ''Taegeukgi'', ), has three parts: a white rectangular background, a red and blue Taegeuk in its center, and four black I Ching trigram, trigrams, one in each corner. Flags si ...

Flag of South Korea
treated as a National Colour. Today each of the ROKAF's service branches have branch regimental colours, which are carried by colour guards following a mix of Western traditions. The colours are as follows: * Army: Blue and white with service emblem * Navy: Blue with white canton (
taegeuk ''Taegeuk'' (, ) is a Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean ...

taegeuk
with crossed anchors) ** Marine Corps: Scarlet with service emblem * Air Force: Air force/sky blue with gold service emblem In major holiday parades two additional colours are paraded as part of the national colour guard. * Honorary Colour of the Armed Forces and Ministry of National Defence: Red with armed forces emblem * Colour of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the MND and ROKAF: Purple Unit and specialty colours follow a mix of the Western models with influences from the Western model, sharing since the 1990s a common design with the unit name in Hangul below the emblem (in the Navy, the unit/command name is on a white scroll below). * Colours of units under the ROK Army ** Regimental, brigade, division and corps colours: Army Colour with unit DUI/emblem replacing the service arms ** Infantry: Blue ** Armour: Yellow ** Artillery and Missile Command: Burgundy red ** Air defence artillery: Green ** Engineers: Light blue ** Special operations: Black ** Logistics and service support: White/Orange ** Reserve units: Dark blue ** Army aviation: Blue * Colours of units under the ROK Navy ** Fleet forces and other commands: Navy blue ** Marine Corps: Scarlet ** Service support: White ** Educational and training institutions: White/Navy blue * All ROK Air Force formations: Sky blue In addition, the traditional guard unit under the 3rd Infantry Division of the ROKA carries replica colours similar to those used during the Imperial era, that was used by Sumunjang or royal palace guards with its traditional military band,
Daechwita ''Daechwita'' (literally "great blowing and hitting") is a genre of Korean traditional music consisting of military music played by wind and percussion instruments, generally performed while marching or as a static performance. Instrumentati ...
. They are only brought out during state visits to the republic and on major holidays.


Laos

In
Laos , national_anthem = "Pheng Xat Lao "Pheng Sat Lāo" () is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that officially symbolizes a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often r ...

Laos
, the Colours of the
Military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
and other uniformed institutions follow North Korean practice. It is basically a large version of the Laotian flag with the unit name below in white in the top and bottom red stripe.


Philippines

Philippine military colours are the
Flag of the Philippines The national flag of the Philippines ( fil, pambansang watawat ng Pilipinas) is a horizontal bicolor flag with equal bands of royal blue Royal blue is a deep and vivid shade of blue Blue is one of the three primary colours of pig ...

Flag of the Philippines
as the National Colour, the Organizational Colours, and the Unit Battle Colour. The Flag of the Philippines is the National Colour of the
Armed Forces of the Philippines The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) ( fil, Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas; es, Fuerzas Armadas de Filipinas) are the military forces of the Philippines. It consists of the three main service branches; the Philippine Army, Army, the Philip ...
, but unlike the US colour has no markings on the flag. The Organizational Colours are the flags of the AFP's four Major Service Commands while the Unit Battle Colour differs per service arm and unit. Like the US, it also has 2nd order guidons for companies and troops, but these are also based on the Spanish military guidons and banners, not on the American ones, reflecting the long history of the military establishment here. These guidons are therefore not swallow tailed save for the PMA, the Philippine Army's Escort and Security Btn and some other units under the Philippine Army. The color facings of the Organizational Colours are: * Army: Green * Navy: Ultramarine blue * Air Force: Air Force Blue * AFP GHQ: Air force blue, dark blue and green


Thailand

Each unit of the
Royal Thai Armed Forces The Royal Thai Armed Forces (RTARF) ( th, กองทัพไทย; ) are the armed forces of the Kingdom of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is ...
is given a colour called the ''"Thong Chai Chalermphol"'' ( th, ธงชัยเฉลิมพล) or Victory Colours. These are presented to each unit personally by the
King of Thailand The monarchy of Thailand (whose monarch is referred to as the king of Thailand or historically, king of Siam; th, พระมหากษัตริย์ไทย) refers to the constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parli ...
. The flags are divided into four different designs, for:
Royal Thai Army Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name) Royal can be a surname or a given name. Bearers include: Surname * Billy Joe Royal (1942–2015), American country music and pop singer * Calvin Royal III, American ballet dancer * Darrell Royal (1924 ...
,
Royal Thai Navy The Royal Thai Navy ( Abrv: RTN, ทร.; th, กองทัพเรือไทย, ), Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southea ...
,
Royal Thai Air Force "Royal Thai Air Force March" , mascot = , anniversaries = 9 April 1937 (Royal Thai Air Force Day) , equipment = , equipment_label = , battles = , decorations = , battle_honours = , battle_honours_label = , flying_hours = , we ...
and King's Guard units. Before their presentation the colours are ceremonially blessed in a religious ceremony attended by Buddhist monks and other high ranking dignitaries inside the
Temple of the Emerald Buddha Wat Phra Kaew ( th, วัดพระแก้ว, , ), commonly known in English as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and officially as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, is regarded as the most sacred Wat, Buddhist temple in Thailand. The compl ...
in
Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern ...

Bangkok
. During the ceremony amidst the chanting of the monks, the King will personally hammer the brass nails into the staff of each colour using a silver hammer. Each colour contains about 32–35 nails, in which the cloth is attached to the wooden staff. Within the same ceremony, the King will also take a strand of his own hair and conceal it within a compartment at the top of the staff, which is closed by a round silver screw top. The King will also attach each colour with its own ceremonial Buddha image, and bless each colour with holy water. The ceremony is steeped in Buddhist and Brahmic heritage, it symbolizes and cements the King's role as Chief
Kshatriya Kshatriya ( hi, क्षत्रिय) (from Sanskrit ''kṣatra'', "rule, authority") is one of the four varna Varna may refer to: Places Europe * Varna, Bulgaria, a large city in Bulgaria. ** Varna Province **Varna Municipality **Gu ...

Kshatriya
(กษัตริย์) or Warrior ruler of his realm. It also emphasizes his constitutional role as Head and Chief of the Thai Armed Forces (จอมทัพไทย: Chomthap Thai). These colours are similar to the
Flag of Thailand The flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing ...

Flag of Thailand
and therefore are treated like the State Colours of the Commonwealth, but are not lowered to the ground but above it to the tune of
Sansoen Phra Barami "Sansoen Phra Barami" ( th, สรรเสริญพระบารมี, ; ) is the royal anthem of Thailand. It was a ''de facto'' national anthem of Siam before 1932. History The first song to be used as royal anthem and ''de facto'' ...
(the Royal Anthem) when salutes are rendered by these Colours to the Thai Royal Family (most especially the King and Queen) in all military events that they attend.


Vietnam

Similar to Chinese practice, the
Flag of Vietnam The flag of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Hanoi , coordinates = , largest_city = Ho Chi Minh City , languages_typ ...

Flag of Vietnam
is used as a National Colour by all formations of battalion level above within the
People's Army of Vietnam The People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN; vi, Quân đội Nhân dân Việt Nam), also known as the Vietnamese People's Army (VPA), is the military force of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam , image_map = , map_caption ...
. It is fringed in gold and when used in ceremonies often has the gold motto ("determination to win") at the top right corner of the colour near the hoist, and with any decorations and/or medals attached to it.


Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations

The Colours of the Infantry and Standards of the Cavalry are a set of large flags, unique to each regiment, that the ordinary soldier would be able to identify straight away.


United Kingdom


=Line infantry and foot guards

= In regiments of
infantry Infantry is an army specialization whose military personnel, personnel engage in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and armored warfare, armored forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantrymen or infanteer, i ...

infantry
of the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
and the armies of other
Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good Common good Common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about r ...

Commonwealth
countries, each
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
carries two colours, which collectively are called a stand. These are large flags, usually , and mounted on a
half pike A spontoon, sometimes known by the variant spelling espontoon or as a half-pike, is a type of European polearm A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat Close combat means a violent physical combat, confrontation between two or more oppone ...
which is long; the King's/Queen's Colour is usually a version of the country's
national flag A national flag is a flag A flag is a piece of fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking network of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production o ...

national flag
, often trimmed with
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
fabric, and with the regiment's
insignia An insignia () is a sign or mark distinguishing a group, grade, rank, or function. It can be a symbol of personal power or that of an official group or governing body. On its own, an insignia is a sign of a specific or general authority and is ...

insignia
placed in the centre. The Regimental Colour is a flag of a single colour, usually the colour of the uniform facings (collar/lapels and cuffs) of the regiment, again often trimmed and with the insignia in the centre. Most regiments that are designated as 'royal' regiments (that is either have the word 'Royal' or the sponsorship of a royal personage in their name) have a
royal blue Royal blue is a deep and vivid shade of blue Blue is one of the three primary colours of pigments in painting and traditional colour theory In the visual arts The visual arts are art forms such as painting Painting i ...
Regimental Colour, most royal regiments have a Union Flag canton in that background. Irish regiments, today the Royal Irish Regiment, have a dark green Regimental Colour. The colours of the five regiments of Foot Guards have the pattern of the line infantry reversed, with the Queen's Colour of each of the 1st Battalions being crimson with the regimental insignia, a royal crown and honours and the Regimental Colour a variation of the Union Flag with the Battle honours of the British and Imperial Armies, battle honours embroidered. The Queens' Colours of any additional battalions from these regiments (currently held by the 3 incremental companies from the 3 senior regiments) feature a Union Flag canton at the top corner.


=Additional Colours

= *The Grenadier, Coldstream and Scots Guards each have at least one State Colour; this is usually crimson with various regimental devices and honours, and the Royal Cypher at the corners of it. They are only used by Guard of honour, Guards of Honour from any unit from these regiments, not found by the Queen's Guard, mounted on State occasions when Elizabeth II, The Queen is present. They are only lowered to the Queen and the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Duke of Edinburgh and on State occasions only when the Queen is present, even if the Guard of Honour is mounted in honour of some other personage. The colour design is larger than the normal colours of the Guards Division used in ceremonies. *Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, The 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, as the linear descendant, bears the Third Colour initially born by the 2nd Regiment of Foot, later renamed the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) which, for one reason or another, was never taken away from the regiment in the 18th century when new regulations on colours were implemented. *Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, The 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers bears the Drummer's Colour awarded after the Battle of Wilhelmsthal to the 5th Regiment of Foot, (later The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) of which it is the direct descendant. *Yorkshire Regiment, The 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), as the linear descendant, carries the honorary Queen's and Regimental Colours that were given to the 76th Regiment of Foot by the British East India Company, Honourable East India Company following their actions at Delhi and Aligarh, Allyghur. *Royal Highland Fusiliers, The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland carries the Assaye Colour awarded as an honorary colour to the 74th Regiment of Foot following the Battle of Assaye, which is paraded every year on Assaye Day. * The Honourable Artillery Company has both a stand of Colours (Queen's and Regimental) and Guns. The latter are also regarded as colours and accorded the same compliments just as the Royal Artillery regard their guns as their Colours.


=Rifle regiments

= By tradition, light infantry, rifle regiments do not carry colours; this goes back to their formation, when they were used as skirmishers and sharpshooters. While individual units may have had banners or pennants to distinguish themselves from other units, regiments as a whole never needed a full stand of Colours. Today, the two rifle regiments in the British Army, The Rifles and the The Royal Gurkha Rifles, Royal Gurkha Rifles carry their battle honours on their drums, while the Royal Green Jackets also had theirs inscribed on their cap badge; this tradition is maintained by The Rifles, who wear the Maltese Cross badge of the Royal Green Jackets, inscribed with the regimental honours, as the belt badge. In place of a Regimental Colour, the Gurkhas carry the Queen's Truncheon. The Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment was the first modern non-British regiment to receive Truncheons when they were awarded to that unit in 2017. Formerly, the Malaysian Army Royal Ranger Regiment was granted a regimental Truncheon in 1966. In India, Colours or Banners are given instead of Truncheons, following Russian practice, to all the rifle and scout infantry regiments by the President of India.


=Colours in the cavalry regiments

= In the Cavalry regiments of the British Army, British Army's cavalry units, the Queen's Cavalry Standard and the Regimental Standard (for the heavy cavalry) and the Queen's Cavalry Guidons and Regimental Guidons (for the light cavalry) are the equivalents to the line infantry colours. The Queen's Standard is crimson with the Royal coat of arms and cypher, plus the regimental honours, while the Regimental (Squadron/Union) Standard has an adaptable background colour per unit (the colour is sometimes scarlet) and includes sometimes the Union Badge below the crown and the Royal Cypher at the sides of the badge, with the unit honours below. The light cavalry Guidon is swallow-tailed and includes the regimental coat of arms and honours. Before the 1950s, however, Timpani in the drumhorses (and later snare, bass and tenor drums in the dismounted bands) carried the regimental honours and insignia of the light cavalry regiments. For dragoon guards regiments, the sequence is mixed, since these regiments have a Queen's Cavalry Standard and Regimental Guidons. The Household Cavalry has the following unique colours: * The Life Guards: Queen's Cavalry Standard only * The Blues and Royals: Queen's Cavalry Standard, Regimental Guidon


=Embellishments

= Woven onto the colours are battle honours; the Queen's Colour has honours from the First World War and Second World War, while the Regimental Colour has honours from other campaigns. The Regimental Colour can also have other distinctions, including antecedent emblems and unique honours; one significant example is the Sphinx emblem carried by regiments who took part in the French campaign in Egypt and Syria, Egypt campaign of 1801. If the regiment has more than a single battalion, then there are identifying marks on the colours to show which battalion they belong to. There are various other embellishments that can be added to the colours on various occasions: *On anniversaries of various battle honours, and certain other events, a laurel wreath is added to the top of the pike. *Battle honour equivalents awarded by foreign countries may be added to the colours, subject to permission being given by the head of state. In the Commonwealth, three infantry battalions are permitted to display the blue streamer that signifies the Presidential Unit Citation (United States), Presidential Unit Citation/Distinguished Unit Citation (PUC), which is the highest collective award given by the United States: **2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry **3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment **6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment In the UK, 41 Commando, Royal Marines, and the 1st Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment, were also awarded the PUC and permitted to display the streamer of their regimental colours. Because of their importance to the regiment, prior to a new stand of colours being presented, they are consecration, consecrated.


=Royal Hospital, Chelsea

= The Royal Hospital, Chelsea had neither colours nor other distinctive device during its entire history, until 2002 when Elizabeth II, The Queen presented the hospital with the Ceremonial mace, Sovereign's Mace. This is now paraded by a party of Chelsea pensioner, In-Pensioners at all of the Royal Hospital's ceremonial events.


=Royal Marines

= The Royal Marines, Corps of Royal Marines has a single pattern Queen's Colour, which is the Union Flag with the foul anchor and the reigning sovereign's cypher interlaced in the centre. Above is a scroll with the single battle honour Gibraltar surmounted by St Edward's Crown. Below is the globe (which represents the many Battle Honours the Royal Marines had earned) surrounded by a laurel wreath (which represents the Battle of Belle Isle) and below this is a scroll with the Corps' motto. Each of the four commandos (the battalion-sized formations that make up the bulk of the corps) has a Queen's Colour, with the only difference being the colour of the cords and tassels. Each commando also has its own Regimental Colour. The Regimental Colour is a dark blue flag (because the Corps is classed as a 'royal regiment') with a small Union Flag at the pike head. The Colour carries similar central embellishments as the Queen's Colour, with the exception that the cypher of George IV replaces that of the reigning monarch and the unit numeral is below. The Royal Cypher is at the other corners. The Regimental Colours also have the coloured cords and tassels, which are gold combined with the following colours: *40 Commando Royal Marines, 40 Commando: Light blue *42 Commando Royal Marines, 42 Commando: White *43 Commando Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines, 43 Commando: Old gold and scarlet *British No. 45 Commando, 45 Commando: Red The former 41 Commando was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (US), Distinguished Unit Citation for its service in the Korean War, and was thus permitted to carry the streamer on its Regimental Colour.


=The Royal Navy

= The Colours of Her Majesty's ships in the Royal Navy consist of: * a White Ensign (worn at the stern, or from the gaff or main yardarm when at sea); * a Union Jack (worn at the ship's jackstaff at the bow when not underway or when the ship is dressed); * a Masthead pennant (worn at the masthead, except when displaced by an admiral's flag or Commodore (Royal Navy), commodore's broad pennant). In addition, each principal command in the Royal Navy also has its own Queen's Colour which is a variation of the White Ensign, with its dimensions altered to mirror those of the Colours of infantry regiments. In the centre is the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch within the Order of the Garter, Garter, surmounted by the St Edward's Crown, crown. Unlike the Colours of regiments in the Army, every Queen's Colour of the Royal Navy is identical. The following units hold a Queen's Colour of the Royal Navy: * Naval Aviation Command (ACOS(AV), RNAS Yeovilton (HMS Heron), HMS ''Heron'') * Submarine Command (CAPTFASFLOT, HMNB Clyde, HMS ''Neptune'') * Fleet (Commander-in-Chief Fleet, CINCFLEET HQ) * Britannia Royal Naval College * Surface Flotilla (MWS, ) * Royal Naval Reserve (COMMARRES, ) The Royal Fleet Auxiliary also holds a Queens Colour, unique for a civilian organisation. It is a variation of the RFA's Blue Ensign, with the dimensions altered to mirror the Royal Navy Queen's Colour. It has the same Royal Cypher in the centre.


=The Royal Air Force

= RAF Colours are made of sky blue silk and measure approximately 36" × 36". The following colours have been awarded: *RAF College Cranwell, RAF College, Cranwell, approved 27 December 1947, presented 6 July 1948. *The RAF in the UK, approved 27 December 1947, presented, 16 May 1951. *No. 1 School of Technical Training RAF, approved 27 December 1947, presented 25 July 1952. *RAF Regiment, presented 17 March 1953. *Near East Air Force, presented 14 October 1960, laid up 31 May 1976. *RAF Far East Air Force, Far East Air Force, presented 13 July 1961, laid up 30 January 1972. *Central Flying School, presented 26 June 1969. *Royal Air Force Germany, RAF Germany, presented 16 September 1970, laid up 27 June 1993. *Royal Auxiliary Air Force, presented 12 June 1989. *RAF Halton, presented 31 October 1997. *Royal Air Force Regiment, presented July 2017. The Queen's Colour for the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom is a variation of the RAF Ensign with its dimensions altered. The RAF Roundel is moved to the lower fly, with its place in the centre again taken by the Royal Cypher surmounted by the crown. Other colours feature the unit's badge in the centre with the Royal Cypher and crown in the first quarter. The RAF's Squadron Standards are its counterpart to the Regimental Colours. They are in air force blue with a gold fringe surrounding it, with the Squadron insignia and honours.


Australia, Canada and New Zealand

The naval and air forces of all three of these countries also have similar Colours based on their own ensigns. Rules stipulated by the Canadian Department of National Defence (Canada), Department of Defence state that the First, or Senior Colours symbolizes the unit's loyalty to the Crown; authorization to possess a Queen's Colour may only be granted, and the Colour presented, by the Queen or her vice-regal representative. The design based on the flag of Canada reflects the custom established for infantry line regiments in the mid-18th century, when the Sovereign's Colour was based on the national flag, as was the practice in British and French units in Canada.


=Navy

= *Royal Australian Navy: The Queen's Colour of the RAN is the Australian White Ensign – it is a reverse of the Flag of Australia, Australian national flag (white with blue stars), with the Royal Cypher and Garter band positioned between the Commonwealth Star and the stars representing the Southern Cross. (See former Colours at Naval Chapel, Garden Island NSW.) The RAN possesses two Colours, the first is the Fleet Colour held on behalf of the fleet units by Fleet Headquarters, . The second, known as the Establishment Colour, is held by on behalf of the shore establishments. *Royal Canadian Navy: The Queen's Naval Colour is a variation of the Canadian Naval Ensign (which used to be the Canadian Forces naval jack) – it is white, with the Flag of Canada, Canadian flag in the canton, the cypher from the Queen's personal flag for the Commonwealth (a crowned "E" surrounded by a wreath of roses) in the centre, and the symbol of the navy in the lower fly. The edge of the Colour is trimmed in gold. Until 1979 the RCN possessed two identical colours: one for the Atlantic fleet and one for the Pacific fleet. Since then, a single Colour has been held at Naval Service Headquarters. *Royal New Zealand Navy: Since 1968 the RNZN Queen's Colour is a variant of the Naval Ensign of New Zealand – itself the Flag of New Zealand but in white, with the Royal Cypher and Garter band situated near the Southern Cross.


=Army

= * Australian infantry battalions formed just prior to or during World War 1 had a pair (a stand) of colours, being a King's Colour based on the Union Flag and a separate Regimental Colour emblazoned with the battalion number and its colour patch (shoulder badge). Battle Honours were also emblazoned on the Regimental Colour. These customs followed the British tradition. Some of those World War 1 battalions were amalgamated prior to or during World War 2. For example, the 57th Battalion (Australia), 57th Battalion amalgamated with the 60th Battalion (Australia), 60th Battalion in 1930, forming the 57th/60th Battalion (Australia), 57th/60th Battalion which saw action in the South West Pacific theatre of World War II, South West Pacific campaigns during World War 2. The 57th/60th Battalion (Australia), 57th/60th Battalion did not have its own colours, but by dint of history inherited both sets of colours (both stands) from the 57th and the 60th. In accordance with the order of battle the 57th/60th wore the colour patch of the 57th on its uniforms, but they still paraded and presented the colours of both the 57th and the 60th. The Queen gave permission in 1960 for the battle honours from World War 2 (South-West Pacific 1943–45, Liberation of Australian New Guinea, Commando Road, etc.) to be emblazoned on (what were by then and remain) the Queen's Colours, rather than on the Regimental Colours which were already emblazoned with honours from World War 1 (The Somme, Passchendaele, Villers-Bretonneux, Amiens, etc.). A similar situation occurred with the amalgamation in 1942 of the 58th Battalion (Australia), 58th Battalion and the 59th Battalion (Australia), 59th Battalion to form the 58th/59th Battalion (Australia), 58th/59th Battalion, which wore the colour patch of the 58th Battalion on its uniforms but inherited and paraded both stands of colours from the 58th Battalion (Australia), 58th Battalion and 59th Battalion (Australia), 59th Battalion. The 57th/60th Battalion (Australia), 57th/60th Battalion and the 58th/59th Battalion (Australia), 58th/59th Battalion were disbanded soon after World War 2 and the colours were laid up in the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne where they are on display in the Crypt. The Shrine of Remembrance, Shrine and other war memorials and churches around Australia display many other stands of battalion colours that have been laid up in their care, such as St Stephens Church, Sydney. * While the colours of the Australian Army infantry regiments follow the British tradition, starting in the 1960s colours based on the Flag of Australia, Australian national flag are now used as the Queen's Colour. Armoured units carry Standards and Guidons – flags smaller than Colours and traditionally carried by cavalry, lancer, light horse and mounted infantry units. The 1st Armoured Regiment is the only unit in the Australian Army to carry a Standard, in the tradition of heavy armoured units. Guidons are also carried by aviation units. Only the Royal Australian Artillery uses guns rather than flags as the colours. Non-combat units (combat service support corps) do not have Colours, but have Standards or Banners instead. The Royal Military College, Duntroon also has an additional colour, the Sovereign's Banner, carried yearly by the RMC's Champion Company from the Corps of Staff Cadets formed from the best cadet company for the year, which on parades takes precedence over the other companies as the Sovereign's Company. The Army itself since 2001 has a banner known as the Army Banner, carried on all events of the service (as the Army is the protector of the traditions of the Flag of Australia, and thus does not have its own service colour). It is trimmed with gold fringe, has gold and crimson cords and tassels, and is mounted on a pike with the usual British royal crest finial. The Army Banner bears the Coat of arms of Australia, Australian Coat of Arms on the obverse, with the dates "1901–2001" in gold in the upper hoist. The reverse bears the Rising Sun (badge), "rising sun" badge of the Australian Army, flanked by seven Battle honours, campaign honours on small gold-edged scrolls: Second Boer War, South Africa, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Korea, Malayan Emergency, Malaya-Borneo, Vietnam War, South Vietnam, Peacekeeping and East Timor. It was presented to the Army in celebration of its 2001 centennial year. * In the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) regiments designated horse guards and dragoon guards, along with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment, have regimental standards. RCAC standards have a crimson field and the CSOR standard has a tan field. RCAC regiments other than horse guards and dragoon guards have crimson regimental guidons. Each battalion of the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps, except those of rifle regiments, has a stand of two colours: a queen's colour and a regimental colour. For foot guards, the queen's colours have a crimson field, and the regimental colours are based on the Flag of Canada, Canadian national flag . For other infantry regiments, the queen's colours are based on the national flag, and the regimental colours are of the regimental facing colour. Only the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery uses guns for its colours. The rifle regiments share the traditions of the former British rifle regiments of having their battle honours carried on their drums. The Royal Canadian Engineers do not have colours but have the motto , Latin for 'everywhere', on their cap badges and other insignia to represent their service everywhere. *Only the Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, the sole infantry regiment of the New Zealand Army, has a stand of Colours, with the Queen's Colour now based on the Flag of New Zealand, with the Union Flag canton carrying the regimental insignia, and the Regimental Colour being royal blue due to its status as a royal regiment. Stands of Colours are present in the regiment's two regular and three reserve battalions. Until 1964, when the New Zealand infantry was reorganized into a single regiment, all the reserve infantry regiments also carried their own colours. The sole armoured regiment, Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles, carries a guidon in the traditions of cavalry units raised in New Zealand since the 19th century.


=Air Force

= *Royal Australian Air Force: The Queen's Colour of the RAAF is the Royal Australian Air Force Ensign. It is similar to that of the RAF – however, in addition to the RAAF roundel, which is in the lower fly, it has the Commonwealth Star in the lower hoist and the stars of the Southern Cross in the upper fly, with the Royal Cypher in the centre. The flag has a border of golden acacia, wattle as well as golden fringe. *Royal Canadian Air Force: The Queen's colour of the RCAF is different from that of other Commonwealth air forces in that it is not based on the ensign but instead is similar to the Queen's colours of infantry regiments: it is 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. Uniquely among Commonwealth air forces, the RCAF also has a Command Colour, analogous to an infantry regimental colour. This is light blue with the RCAF badge in the centre and a maple leaf in each corner, stems inward. Squadrons with 25 years or more of active service receive squadron standards with battle honours surrounding the unit badge on the same light blue background edged with flowers (the ten Floral emblem#Canada, provincial floral emblems).


Sri Lanka

When Sri Lanka declared itself a republic in 1972 the units that had a Queen's Colour retired them. These were replaced by the new President's Colour, which was first awarded in 1972. The following colours have been awarded: *Sri Lanka Army **Regiments ***Sri Lanka Light Infantry – 1978 ***Gemunu Watch – 1980 ***Gajaba Regiment – 2007 ***Sri Lanka Armoured Corps ***Sri Lanka Artillery **Establishments ***Sri Lanka Military Academy, Army Training Centre – 1972, laid up 20 August 1992 ***Sri Lanka Military Academy – 1997 *Sri Lanka Air Force **Sri Lanka Air Force – 1976 **Sri Lanka Air Force Regiment, SLAF Regiment – 2009 **Squadrons ***No. 1 Wing SLAF, No. 1 Flying Training Wing – 2001 ***No. 2 Squadron SLAF, No. 2 Heavy Transport Squadron – 2009 ***No. 4 Squadron SLAF, No. 4 (VIP) Helicopter Squadron – 2009 ***No. 9 Squadron SLAF, No. 9 Attack Helicopter Squadron – 2009 ***No. 10 Squadron SLAF, No. 10 Fighter Squadron – 2009 **Stations ***SLAF Katunayake – 2001 *Sri Lanka Navy **Commanders ***Admiral of the fleet Wasantha Karannagoda **Establishments ***Naval and Maritime Academy – 2000 Regimental colours follow the British model, and the two light infantry regiments (Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and Sri Lanka Rifle Corps) do not carry colours at all. Unlike the British Royal Artillery, the Sri Lanka Artillery carries a set of President's and Regimental Colours, the same case for the Sri Lanka Engineers. Unlike the Air Force which uses a single colour design similar to the RAF, the Navy sports unit and command colours in the same fashion as the Army.


India

Given its Commonwealth heritage as a former British possession, the Indian Armed Forces sports colours which are equivalent to those used in the British military.


= Presidential Colours to service branches of the armed forces

= Only the Indian Navy, Navy and Indian Air Force, Air Force sport President's Service Colours which are their respective Indian Naval Ensign, naval ensign and List of Indian flags#Air Force, air force flag with an elephant at the bottom left end.


= President's Colours/Standards/Guidons/Banners of military units

= President's Colour Award, President's Colours (Standard and Guidon for mounted units of the Army and Air Force flying units and Banners for service arms and the light infantry) are awarded to distinguished units of the Armed Forces by the President of India, who is the Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces, Armed Forces, these are the equivalents to British regimental colours. In the Indian Army, Army, these colours carry the :Insignia of regiments of Indian Army, regimental/battalion insignia and any Battle and theatre honours of the Indian Army, battle honours won by the unit. * Indian Army, Army ** Cavalry Standards – per colour facing ** Cavalry Guidons – same as standards ** Artillery and Air Defence Artillery Banners - burgundy red and blue ** Infantry Colours – per respective colour facing ** Light Infantry and Rifle Banners – same as regular infantry ** Service Corps Banners – per respective colours * Indian Air Force, Air Force – sky blue


Malaysia

The same format of Sovereign's and Regimental Colours also apply in Malaysia. The King's Colours and Regimental Colours of the Malaysian Armed Forces are the flags given by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in his responsibilities as Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and by the 8 other state monarchs, to units recognized as Royal units and to flags of large formations (the King's Colour) and to units now receiving their new regimental colours (the Unit Regimental Colour). The King's Colour is yellow with the national arms surrounded by paddy on the centre, thus Malaysia is one of only two Commonwealth countries, the other being Brunei, that does not use its national flag for use as a senior Colour (the flag is the senior colour of the entire Armed Forces establishment). The sides are emblazoned with the battle honours of the unit. On the canton the service emblem of either service of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) can be seen. The Regimental Colour, however, differs by service arm or branch (the latter case being used in the Army) and unit. Both flags have gold fringes surrounding them. These colours are only present in formal parades. During the Merdeka Parade and on Armed Forces Day on 21 September, as the armed services on parade do not wear their dress uniforms, only the 1st Battalion, Royal Malay Regiment, which wears dress uniforms, is present with its King's and Regimental Colours, but for the rest of the services on public parade the following order then applies: * Service Colour/Regimental Camp Flag * Flag of Malaysia (National Colour) * Colour of the Malaysian Armed Forces


Singapore

Singaporean military colours of the Singapore Armed Forces are divided today into Service State Colours and Unit Regimental Colours. Until 1997 there were also Service Regimental Colours and Unit State Colours. The Service State Colours are similar to the Flag of Singapore but differ per service, with the service emblem in the red field. But Regimental Colours are different, and they differ per unit or service arm (save for the flags of the Air Force and Navy that show their respective service colours instead and some SAF service-wide commands like the Military Police). Their common design is that of the regimental or command arms at the centre of the colour, which is in the colour of the unit uniform facings or service branch which it belongs. Both are gold fringed and are brought out on major occasions only. The former Unit State Colours carried the unit emblem or badge in the red field of the national flag.


Europe


Belgium

Infantry units have a ''drapeau'' / ''vaandel'', a square vertical tricolour of black, yellow, and red within a 15 mm wide gold border, the whole being 90 cm square. The names of battle honours for which the unit was cited are embroidered in gold in French Language, French on the obverse and in Dutch language, Dutch on the reverse, in straight lines.


Denmark

Danish Navy, Army and Air Force units carry a unit colour ( da, regimentsfane) and for the Life Guards a battalion colour (), which measures 105 × 140 cm, former horse units a slightly smaller guidon. The flag is a variation of the Flag of Denmark, Dannebrog, with a curvilinear white Dannebrog cross, called the Mantova cross, set with its centre about one-half the width of the hoist from the hoist edge. The royal cypher is embroidered in gold over the centre of the cross, the unit badge in gold in the upper hoist, and the unit number, name or both in gold in the lower hoist. Some regiments have additional marks in the upper fly. The Jydske Dragonregiment, Jyske Dragonregiment, for instance, has Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, Prince Henrik's cipher in the upper fly. The
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
is an ornate gold openwork spearhead with the royal cypher in the centre. Attached below the spearhead can be one or more campaign streamers (). The colour is decorated with a gold cord with two tassels and bordered with a thin strip of gold cord. The sleeve holding the colour to the pike is attached with ornamental nails, the first three of which represent the sovereign, the Fatherland, and the Union.


Finland

Units of Finnish Defence Forces have a single Colour. The Colours are either active or traditional. An active Colour belongs to a brigade or an equivalent unit in the FDF. A traditional Colour belongs to a battalion or a regiment that has formerly been separate but is now part of a brigade. The difference between an active and traditional Colour is the way of presenting them. The active Colour has always a guard of two officers, while a traditional Colour is borne without one. The military oath is always given in the presence of the active Colour of the unit. The Finnish military vexillology is a mixture of Scandinavian and Russian tradition. The Colours are usually modelled after Swedish regimental flags of the 17th century, but some units carry flags modelled after Russian or German colour traditions. The Colour often bears the emblem of the province where the unit is located with an appropriate symbol of the service branch. No battle honours were awarded for units during the Second World War but some units have battle honours from the Finnish Civil War. Units and institutions of the Finnish Defence Force which have not been awarded a colour of their own use the unadorned swallow-tailed Flag of Finland as their State Colour, and the oath of service for NCOs and volunteer enlisted personnel assigned to these are given in its presence. File:KaartJR-lippu.jpg, Colour of the Finnish Guard Jaeger Regiment. Note the Imperial Russian-style design of the flag which is symbolic of the lineage of the regiment as part of the Russian imperial guard File:PsPr-lippu.jpg, Colour of the Armoured Brigade (Finnish Army), Armoured Brigade features the black and silver colours of Finnish armoured troops while the main emblem is a cuirassier helmet symbolizing armoured force. File:PorPr-lippu.jpg, Colour of Pori Brigade has the blue and yellow colours of Satakunta, and the coats of arms of Satakunta (historical province), Satakunta and Finland Proper (historical province), Finland Proper on its two sides. The colour carries the ribbon of the Order of the Cross of Liberty as a streamer. File:Kymen_J%C3%A4%C3%A4k%C3%A4ripataljoonan_lippu.jpg, The traditional colour of the ''Kymen jääkäripataljoona'' (Kymi Jaeger Battalion), nowadays a part of Karelia Brigade, is of the form defined for light infantry. The Kymi Jaeger Battalion follows the traditions of the 3rd Bicycle Battalion and carries that number on its colour, and the Order of the Cross of Liberty both as a streamer and as the point of the staff. File:I-SVP_flag.jpg, The traditional colour of ''Itä-Suomen Viestipataljoona'' (Eastern Finland Signals Battalion), part of Karelia Brigade, has the branch colours of signals corps: purple and gold. The device featuring Western Capercaillie is a throwback to the earlier designation as Central Finland Signals Battalion. The main device, the three lightning bolts, is symbolic of communication. File:7_Ohjuslaivue_lippu.jpg, The traditional Colour of the ''7. Pintatorjuntalaivue'' (7th Surface Combat Flotilla) of the Coastal Navy features a blue Coat of Arms of Finland, Lion of Finland with a fish tail, striking with a trident. File:PvKvK-lippu.jpg, The Colour of the Finnish Defence Forces International Centre FINCENT, Finnish Defence Forces International Centre features a Lion of Finland holding a herald's staff in addition to the sword. The shade of blue of the colour is the same as in the flag of United Nations. File:Karjalan Lennoston lippu.svg, The Colour of the Karelian Air Command features, like all Finnish Air Force Colours, a swastika within a winged circle. The identifying device is a small coat of arms of Karelia (historical province of Finland), Karelia


France

In January 1188, in a meeting between Henry II of England and Philip II of France, it was agreed that both would go on a crusade, and that Henry II would use a white cross and Philip II would use a red cross. Later on, this usage was inverted, and the English took to using a red cross on white, and the French a white cross on red.


=Background

= As the use of regimental colours spread in Europe, the habit developed of using a symmetric white cross as the basis of the design of the French regimental flags, and by the 18th century almost every regiment had a white cross. The regiments were distinguished by the colours of the Canton (flag), cantons. After the French Revolution and the appearance of the new ''Flag of France, Tricolore'', crosses disappear in 1794 and various arrangements of the tricolour come into use. Napoleon standardizes first in 1804 to a white field chape-chausse of red and blue, and in 1812 to the modern French flag. Atop of the staff of colours of the Grande Armée, Napoleonic army the French Imperial Eagle, Imperial Eagle (modelled after the Ancient Roman Aquila (Roman), ''Aquila'') was placed, which actually rose to be more important symbol of the regiment than colours itself. File:Vigiles du roi Charles VII 32.jpg, French, white cross, and English, red cross, fighting at the battle of Formigny during the Hundred Years' War. File:Rég d Auvergne 1635.png, Regiment of Auvergne (province), Auvergne. Rég de Normandie 1616.png, Regiment of Normandy. Rég du Roi 1757.png, King's Regiment (''Régiment du Roi''). File:Franche de la Marine1.jpg, The pre-French Revolution, revolutionary regimental flags inspired the flag of Quebec (here, the Compagnies Franches de la Marine). File:Drapeau-3e-reg-suisse-napoleon-p1030181.jpg, French Imperial regimental flag with its French Imperial Eagle, Eagle (1804–1812). File:Grenadier Pied 1 1812 Revers.png, Regimental flag of the 1st Regiment of Grenadiers of the French Imperial Guard (1812).


= Battle honours on current colours

= The modern French Armed Forces are not officially considered to be the successors of the Royal Army and Navy, although many of their individual units trace their histories to before the foundation of the French First Republic, First Republic. Accordingly, battles fought and won by the Ancien Régime in France, Royal Army and Navy before the French Revolution (such as Battle of Patay, Patay, Battle of Fontenoy, Fontenoy, Battle of the Chesapeake, Chesapeake, Battle of Porto Praya, Porto Praya and so on) do not appear as battle honours on regimental colours. The names of battles of the old times, however, which are rightly still considered as most glorious by the modern French Army, are honoured by being given to ships or armoured vehicles, and remembered by anniversaries. As an example, the 1st Infantry Regiment (France), 1st Infantry Regiment, founded in 1479 during the reign of Louis XI of France, Louis XI, has fought a number of battles since the 15th century, but its battle honours are only recorded from 1792 onwards: *Battle of Valmy, Valmy 1792 *Battle of Fleurus (1794), Fleurus 1794 *Battle of Messkirch, Moeskirch 1800 *Battle of Biberach (1800), Biberach 1800 *Miliana 1842 *Battle of St. Quentin (1914), Guise 1914 *Battle of Verdun, Verdun – L'Yser 1916–1917 *Battle of the Somme, La Somme 1916 *Battle of Soissons (1918), L'Ourcq 1918 *French Resistance, Résistance Berry 1944 *French North Africa, AFN 1952–1962.


=Latest official regulations

= The following official documents relate to the colours of the French Army, Land Army (''armée de Terre'') : * recommendation (''circulaire'') 808 EMM/CAB of 5 December 1985 rules what sorts of units can be given colours, abiding to previous regulations of joint services; * decision 12350/SGA/DPMA/SHD/DAT of 14 September 2007 deals with the inscriptions of battle honours upon the flags and standards of the units of the Army, the French Defence Health service, Defence Health service and the Military Fuel Service (France), Military Fuel Service; * government order of 19 November 2004 relates to the award of the ''Algerian War, AFN 1952–1962'' battle honour to flags and standards of Army and Services units.


=Army in general

= * Regimental colours of units which are traditionally on foot, such as Infantry regiments of the line, Troupes de marine, Marine Infantry, French Foreign Legion, Foreign Legion Infantry, Parachute Infantry, Engineers, Signal Corps and Military Colleges are called ''drapeaux'' (flags). *Regimental colours of the (traditionally) mounted units of the Armoured Cavalry Branch and other cavalry units such as Dragoon Paratroopers, Hussar Paratroopers, Legion Cavalry, Artillery (including Marine Artillery, Legion Artillery, etc.), Transportation, French Army Light Aviation, Army Aviation, and Materiel, are called ''étendards'' (standards). Regimental colours are 90 cm × 90 cm ''Tricolore'' silk square flags – standards are smaller: 64 cm × 64 cm – surrounded by a golden fringe. Both are set on a stave (2.11 m long and 32 mm diameter – staves for standards are slightly shorter) ended by a 38 cm pike-shaped
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
with a cartouche bearing the initials "RF" for ''France, République française'' on one side, and the name or number of the unit on the other side. The cravate hanging from the pike is made of two tricolour silk ribbons, 90 cm long and 24 cm wide, ended by an 8 cm gold fringe on which the unit number or monogram is embroidered in gold, encircled by an oak and laurel wreath. French Military awards and decorations, decorations and fourragères awarded to the unit are pinned or tied to the cravate; foreign awards and decorations are borne on a red velvet cushion. All writings on the colour are embroidered in gold, as well the unit number (or monogram) encircled in antique oak and laurel wreath in each corner of the colour. Obverse of a colour: * RÉPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE * (NAME OF THE UNIT) Reverse of a colour: * HONNEUR (Honour) * ET (and) * PATRIE (Fatherland) * (BATTLE HONOURS)


=Rifle battalions (chasseurs à pied)

= By tradition, all the Army's rifle battalions (the ''bataillons de chasseurs à pied'' together with the ''Chasseurs Alpins, chasseurs alpins'') share a single collective colour. Individual battalions have pennants (''fanions'') and the flag of the Rifles (''Drapeau des chasseurs'') is given to be held each year in turn to a different rifle battalion. As a result, the single flag displays all the battle honours earned by every rifle battalion.


=Other specific colours

= * Since 1844, the obverse of French Foreign Legion, Foreign Legion regimental colours do not carry the motto ''"Honneur et Patrie"'' but ''"Honneur et Fidélité"'' (Honour and Fidelity). This motto was originally written on the flags of the Swiss regiments in French service, such as the ''Régiment de Diesbach'' (85th Infantry of the line). * The École Polytechnique, École polytechnique, as a military college, also has a colour which does not carry ''"Honneur et Patrie"'' but instead ''"Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire"'' (For the Fatherland, Sciences and Glory). The reverse of the École polytechnique's colour has one battle honour written under the motto: ''Battle of Paris (1814), Défense de Paris 1814'', awarded in 1901 by Émile Loubet, President Émile Loubet. * Since 1880, the motto of the Paris Fire Brigade (which is a military unit belonging to the Combat engineer, Engineering Arm), ''"Dévouement et Discipline"'' (Devotion and Discipline), is written under ''"Honneur et Patrie"''. *The reverse of the École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr, Saint-Cyr Military College's colour has seven lines: ''Honneur / et / patrie / Ils s'instruisent pour vaincre / Premier / bataillon / de France'' (Honour / and / Fatherland / They study for victory / First / battalion / of France).


=The National Navy

= The Colours worn by the ships of the French Navy, National Navy (''Marine nationale'') consist of the National Ensign and the jack: * the National Ensign is flown at the stern and at the bowsprit if not replaced there by the FNFL jack or a military award jack; * the FNFL jack is flown at the ship's jackstaff if the ship has fought with the Free French Naval Forces, or is named after such a ship; * military award jacks may also be flown at the ship's jackstaff if the ship has received mention in dispatches (in which case crew members wear the corresponding ''fourragère''). Currently, only eight individual National Navy units do have colours other than the National Ensign or the FNFL jack. Under recommendation 808 EMM/CAB of 5 December 1985, naval units to which colours can be bestowed must be those with manpower equivalent to that of a regiment, which are specialised in combat or services on land (or corps which have inherited their traditions from such units), and naval instruction centres or colleges. The flags are quite similar to those of Land Army units, the difference being the wreaths in corners which encircle anchors instead of name of unit, except for the Naval Gunners (initials ''CM'') and the Fleet Engineering Cadets College (initials ''EAMF''). As of today, these units are (between brackets is where the colours are currently kept): *the ''1er Régiment de fusiliers marins (École des fusiliers marins)'' – the 1st Fusiliers Marins, Naval Fusiliers Regiment (Naval Fusiliers College); *the ''Demi-brigade de fusiliers marins (Compagnie de fusiliers marins de Cherbourg)'' – the Naval Fusiliers Half-Brigade (Cherbourg Naval Fusiliers Company); *the ''Canonniers marins (Centre d' instruction naval de Saint-Mandrier)'' – the Naval Gunners (Saint-Mandrier Naval Instruction Centre); *the ''École navale (Groupe des écoles du Poulmic)'' – the École navale, Naval College (Poulmic Schools Group); *the ''École militaire de la flotte (Groupe des écoles du Poulmic)'' – the Fleet Military College (Poulmic Schools Group); *the ''École des mousses (Centre d'instruction naval de Brest)'' – the Cabin boy, Cabin Boys College (Brest Naval Instruction Centre); *the ''École des apprentis mécaniciens de la flotte (Centre d' instruction naval de Saint-Mandrier) – the Fleet Engine department (ship), Engineering Cadets College (Saint-Mandrier Naval Instruction Centre); *the ''Bataillon de marins pompiers de Marseille (Bataillon de marins pompiers de Marseille)'' – the Marseille Marine Fire Battalion (The Marseille Marine Fire Battalion).


=The Air Force

= The colours of French Air Force, Air Force (''armée de l'Air'') units are by all means similar to those of the Army from which it separated as an independent military arm in 1933. Colours are generally not bestowed to Air Army units smaller than ''escadres'' (wings), land combat regiments, air force bases, instruction centres or air colleges.


=The National Gendarmerie

= The units of the National Gendarmerie (''Gendarmerie nationale'') have colours which are very similar to those of the Land Army. Each region (formerly ''legion''), instruction centre, college or Republican Guard (France), Republican Guard Regiment has its flag or standard, altogether 56 flags and 2 standards. The reverse of colours of the Departmental Gendarmerie units and Gendarmerie instruction centres have the same motto as the Land Army units (''Honneur et Patrie'') but the colours of the Mobile Gendarmerie have their own particular motto: ''Valeur et Discipline'' (Valour and Discipline). Most subordinate or smaller units use 50 cm large × 40 cm high pennants. The National Gendarmerie also has a common flag, under the guard of the Director-general, on which five battle honours are registered: *Battle of Hondschoote, Hondschoote 1793 *Battle of Venta del Pozo, Villodrigo 1812 *Battle of the Smala, Taguin 1843 *Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855), Sébastopol 1855 *First Indochina War, Indochine 1945–1954


=French influence

=


Nations of the former French Empire

Many of today's armed forces of independent countries that once were part of the French colonial empire, French Empire share customs and traditions closely similar if not identical to those of the French military regarding organisation of military arms, Ranks in the French Army, army and Ranks in the French Navy, navy rank structures and Military uniform, uniform styles. Indeed, in countries where the decolonisation process had been conducted through peaceful political negotiations (chiefly French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa), French colonial units were sometimes Red Guard of Senegal, directly inherited by the former colonies where they had been raised to form the basis of the new national armies. This legacy not only included colour etiquette (the way colours are respected, taken care of and paraded), but also design, adapted to new national flag designs. On the contrary, in countries where independence came as the aftermath of bloody wars of liberation, such as in First Indochina War, Vietnam and Algerian War, Algeria, due to the Cold War context, French military culture was strongly rejected often only to be replaced by Communist state, communist Soviet Army, Soviet or People's Liberation Army, Chinese style military culture (colours, ranks, uniforms, parade pace, etc.).


Other nations

As one of the World's great powers together with Great Britain, France did not only exercise its influence by conquest but also by the prestige of its military. At the height of European Colonization, colonial expansion in the 19th century, France's army and Britain's navy were each regarded as the most powerful forces ever on land and at sea. This lead many a military to copy both powers' military and naval cultures. As most navies in the World adopted the British naval looks (double-breasted navy blue jacket and peaked cap for officer, blue jean collar for ratings, etc.), numerous land armies adopted French-inspired uniforms during the 1860s and 1870s (both Uniform of the Union Army#European and civilian influence, Union and Uniforms of the Confederate Military#Kepis, Confederate armies during the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
, the Chilean Army of the War of the Pacific, the Imperial Russian Army, etc.) and even sometimes imported types of French units (e.g. Zouave regiments). France's influence on military fashion dimmed for the time being after the most unexpected French defeat ending the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–1871 and many armies then changed to adopt Prussian military style (as a perfect example of this trend, Chilean soldiers traded their kepis for pickelhaube, ''pickelhauben''). As far as regimental colours are concerned, French influence was mainly to be seen in armies of smaller European powers with strong cultural, economical or political ties to France, notably in such countries whose national flag itself was patterned after the French national flag, such as Belgium or Romania. File:Djibouti Army stand at attention.jpg, Djibouti Armed Forces, Djiboutian colours: French influence through legacy. File:2-4e Régiment de chasseurs à cheval belges.jpg, Belgian Army, Belgian colours: French influence through common culture. File:Romanian soldiers.jpg, Romanian Armed Forces, Romanian colours: French influence through prestige.


Germany

Units of the Bundeswehr have only a single Colour. The ''Truppenfahne'' is a square version of the Flag of Germany, national flag with the Coat of Arms of Germany, Bundesadler (national shield) overall in the centre. The flag is surrounded by a black, red, and gold lacework border and edged on three sides by gold fringe. The
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
is a gilt bronze openwork spearhead surrounding a black and silver Iron Cross. Below the finial, a streamer is attached with the unit badge at the top and its designation embroidered in gold at the end. These streamers are red for army (Heer) units, blue for the navy (Marine), and white for the air force (Luftwaffe). The streamer is the same length as the hoist of the flag. The tradition was also observed by the National People's Army of East Germany, whose unit colours mirrored the Flag of East Germany, national flag. Until the Second World War German military units maintained colours of the Prussian pattern regardless of service branch, while the Waffen-SS followed the Flag of Nazi Germany, national flag pattern.


Greece

Traditionally, Hellenic Army, Army infantry and tank/cavalry regiments have a single colour/standard or war flag ( el, Πολεμική Σημαία). This is blue, with a white cross and features Saint George and the Dragon, St George and the Dragon in the centre. The flag has no distinguishing features for individual regiments, although battle honours are sometimes added to the flag; the regiment's identity is inscribed on the flagstaff. The pattern has been in use since the 1830s, with no changes between the periods of Kingdom of Greece (Wittelsbach), monarchy or History of the Hellenic Republic, republic. The Hellenic Army Academy has also been awarded a war flag, its cadets having participated in the Battle of Crete in 1941. Similar flags exist also for the Hellenic Air Force, Air Force, featuring the archangel Michael (archangel), Michael. Recently war flags were assigned to the Army NCO Academy and the Police Academy. Unlike the Army, Police and Air Force, the Hellenic Navy uses the Flag of Greece as both the naval ensign and national colour.


Holy See

The flag of the Swiss Guard, the army of the Vatican City, consists of four-quarters. The Coat of Arms of the current pope is in the first quarter, while the arms of Pope Julius II are in the fourth quarter. In the second and third quarters are horizontal stripes of red, yellow and blue, the colours of the unit's uniforms. The flag also has the coat of arms of the commander within a wreath, on a background of the colour of his canton of Switzerland, canton. The design of the flag changes with the election of a new pope and the appointment of a new commander.


Hungary

The 120 cm × 140 cm Unit colour of the Hungarian Defence Force is the current regulation colour of all Hungarian Defence Forces units since 15 March 1991. The flag is made of white fibres-satin. The height of the coat of arms with the crown is 57, and the width is 58 cm along with the crown. The coat of arms is made of silk with gold and silver embroidery. The edges of the flagship are surrounded by 11–11, and 9–9, 10 cm, red and green flames on the longer sides, extending 15 centimetres. The flames of the flames start and end on each side with a red colour, with the flaming tongues separated by a green circle in the four corners of the flag. The flagpole has a 5 mmm national-colour silk ribbon on its 3 free edges that do not fit the rod, with 10–10 centimetres national colour silk ribs on two free tips. The white part of the flagpole outside the party is twisted once on the pole, fixed with 3 equally spaced brass nails - 25-25-25 mm equally spaced. The flagpole is a 21-centimeter long, stylized leaf-shaped sandblasted brass, on both sides with a baroque, bronze Coat of arms of Hungary, without shield holders. The rod is 238 centimetres long, cylindrical, scarlet-lacquered, bottom-foldable in the lower third. Brass rings at the pole separation lines and a brass cap at the bottom end.


Italy

The Colour (bandiera di guerra) for army units (other than cavalry) is a square version of the Flag of Italy, national tricolour in silk, 99 cm × 99 cm. It is mounted on a pike 2.2 m long, made of wood covered with green velvet and decorated with ornate brass nails arranged in a spiral. The pike is topped by a 35 cm high
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
consisting of an ornate gilt brass spearhead chased with a five pointed star and the monogram RI (for ''Repubblica Italiana''), which is in turn mounted atop a gilt brass ball on which is the name and date of establishment of the unit. The pike is adorned with two silver cords 67 cm long, each with a 10 cm long silver tassel and a blue silk cravat 8 cm × 66 cm with an 8 cm silver fringe at each end, to which the unit's decorations are pinned, the ribbons of the decorations overlapping so that the medals hang down the cravat.


Lithuania

Lithuania's military colours under the Lithuanian Armed Forces tend to follow a mix of the Russian and British practice, as well as of US tradition, with the national flag being designated as a National Colour, but only flown by guards of honour in ceremonies. Unit colours of the Land Forces follow the Imperial Russian pattern, with the fringe in gold and the unit emblem in the centre.


Netherlands

In the Armed forces of the Netherlands, Dutch armed forces, the colour (or standard in case of the mounted (i.e. cavalry and field and horse artillery) regiments) is orange (except for the colour of the midshipman corps, which is red). On the obverse is the royal cypher of the monarch that gave the regiment its (original) colour, with the unit's name underneath (including the year the regiment or corps was established), both in gold; around the four edges is a laurel branch. Battle honours are added in the corners of the obverse and sometimes also on the left and right of the royal cypher; if additional honours are awarded, they are placed on streamers that are attached to the pike until the presentation of a new colour. Battle honours refer to places (e.g. Battle of Waterloo, Waterloo or Battle of Rotterdam, Rotterdam), areas (Indonesian National Revolution, West-Java or Afghanistan) (seas included, for example Battle of the Java Sea, Java-zee), or to a military campaign (Ten Days' Campaign, Tiendaagse Veldtocht or Waterloo Campaign, Veldtocht van 1815); the year or years of engagement are always added, except on the colours of the Netherlands Marine Corps. On the reverse is the arms of the Kingdom of the Netherlands without the mantle. The shield is blue and is strewn with small upright rectangles; the main device is a crowned rampant lion, holding a sword in its upper paw and a bundle of seven arrows in its lower paw. The lion and rectangles are gold, whilst the blade of the sword is silver. Supporting the shield on either side is a gold rampant lion, facing outwards towards the viewer. There is a gold crown above the shield; whilst below it is a blue scroll with the motto in gold. The shield and lions are surrounded by a wreath of green palm and oak leaves tied together with an orange and blue ribbon, and there is another wavy gold laurel wreath around the four edges. The Military Order of William or other decorations are attached to the pike when awarded. The pike has a
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
of a lion on a plinth holding a sword and a bunch of seven arrows. Traditionally a colour is 87 cm × 87 cm (with a pike 2.50 m long). Guards regiments carry the same colour, with some differing details. The same applies to the colours carried by the Koninklijke Militaire Academie, Royal Military Academy and the Royal Military School. Standards measure 50 cm × 50 cm with a pike 2 m long.


Norway

Norwegian infantry units have a stand of colours – the first (King's Colour) is the Flag of Norway, national flag, while the second (Regimental Colour) is unique to each unit: *Infantry: Norwegian line infantry units carry regimental colours, either of a solid colour or divided vertically into two or three stripes, with the Norwegian lion in the centre, the name of the unit, and battle honours embroidered on the field. The colours vary by regiment and derive either from historic associations with predecessor regiments or from the colours of the regiment's oldest known uniform. *Guards: The HMKG, Royal Norwegian Guards regiment has a regimental colour that is all white, again with the lion in the centre, and with the Royal Cypher of the reigning monarch in each corner.


Poland

The standard military colours of the Polish Armed Forces are in red and white, with the design tracing back to the Polish Second Republic, a standardized form based on earlier colours. The motto of the Armed Forces, "God, Honour, Fatherland" ( pl, Bóg, Honor, Ojczyzna) are at the reverse while the Polish military eagle (which differs per service) surrounded by a gold wreath is at the centre of the obverse. The unit's name is inscribed on the obverse. The eagle is also featured as the finial in all colours.


Portugal

Each of the commands, units, forces and establishments of the Portuguese Armed Forces has a national colour, which is considered the parade version of the Flag of Portugal. The Portuguese National Republican Guard, National Republican Guard, the Public Security Police and some fire departments also have national colours. The traditional distinction between colours ( pt, bandeiras, literally "flags") - carried by foot units - and standards (''estandartes'') - carried by mounted units - was abolished in the 1960s, with all of them being uniformly reclassified as "national standards" (''estandartes nacionais''). At the same time, another type of standard was introduced, this being the heraldic standard, each of which reflects the particular heraldic symbology of the corresponding unit. The official model for the military colours was established in 1911 and states that they should measure 120 cm in the hoist by 130 cm in the fly, the field being vertically divided in green and red, with the Coat of arms of Portugal, National coat of arms in the centre, surrounded by two golden olive branches tied by a white scroll containing the motto ''Esta é a Ditosa Pátria Minha Amada'' (This is my Beloved Blissful Motherland). Despite the existence of this official model, the various branches of the Armed Forces adopted different models of colours over the years, with various designs and dimensions. In March 2020, a uniform model of national colours was adopted for all the branches. This is based in the 1911 official model, but measuring 120 cm both in the hoist and in the fly. The name of the unit, its heraldic symbol and their
battle honours A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags ("colours"), uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible. In European military t ...
are embroidered in a gravat attached to the base of the finial, the colour of the gravate varying accordingly with the branch of service. Naval units were allowed to keep the traditional Order of Christ Cross embroidered in the canton of the cloth of their national colours. The several commands, units, forces and establishments of the Armed Forces will have to replace their old national colours by the new model within 10 years. The national colours of the National Republican Guard and of the Public Security Police follow the 1911 model and continue to keep the traditional practice of having the names of the units inside white scrolls which are inserted on the field of the flag itself.


Romania

According to the Romanian Armed Forces, Romanian General Staff, "The military colours (''drapel de luptă'') are the symbol of military honour, bravery and glory. They evoke the past struggle of the Romanian people for national liberty and the traditions of unity, reminding each soldier of his sacred duty to serve the Fatherland with trust, and to defend at all costs the unity, sovereignty and independence of Romania". The military colours are granted to military units by presidential decree, on the advice of the Ministry of Defense (Romania), Minister of National Defence, the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform (Romania), Minister of Internal Affairs or the director of the Serviciul Român de Informaţii, Romanian Intelligence Service. According to the Ministry of National Defence, the complete description of this military insignia is as follows: The military colours of Romania are made of double silk cloth and have dimensions of 100 × 66 cm (2:3 ratio). The canvas has the colours of the Romanian flag and its obverse is identical with the reverse. The national coat of arms, measuring 29 × 21.5 cm, is applied in the middle of the yellow stripe, 18 cm above its base. In each corner, 5 cm from the edge of the canvas, is sewed a wreath of oak leaves, which surrounds the weapon signs, all of golden thread: * two crossed swords for land forces * a helicopter blade juxtaposed over a pair of wings in downward flight, a radar and a crossed rocket and telescope for aerial forces * an anchor for naval forces. * the letter J in a rhombus over two crossed swords for Jandarmeria Română, gendarmerie units * the emblem of the Romanian Intelligence Service for its units The three sides of the flag not attached to the pole are decorated with fringes of golden thread (5–7 cm long) and tassels of the same material (10–12 cm long) hang from the corners of the fly. The flag is attached to the pole by an antioxidant metal rod 70 cm long. The pole, of brown wood, is 240 cm high and 3.5 cm in diameter. A brass cylinder is at the base, 4 cm long and closed on the bottom. The rod is attached to the pole by a brass ring, gilt on its lower part, and a 6 cm high cylindrical protective tube of the same material and gilt on its upper part. The ring (3.2 cm high) is inscribed with the name of the unit. Another brass cylinder is placed on the tip of the pole, 6 cm long and of brass. The eagle, of gilt copper, sheet, 15 cm high and 11.5 cm wide, is placed over this. Looking rightward, the eagle's wings are pointed downward and it holds the thunderbolts of Jupiter (mythology), Jupiter in its talons. It is placed on a parallelepipedal support of the same metal (10 × 3.5 × 2 cm), which has a 3.4 cm high ornament on its lower part. The support is screwed onto the brass cylinder and has inscribed into the front the motto ''Onoare şi Patrie'' ("honour and Fatherland"). The name of the respective unit is engraved into the reverse. Other features of the military colours are a tie for attaching decorations, six sashes for the troops in the flag's guard and a protective cover of impermeable fabric. The military colours of navy vessels are identical to their ensign. The ensign is in turn identical to the national flag, being made of ordinary canvas in various dimensions, according to the ship's rank, size and place of hoisting.


Russia and Soviet Union

Until Peter the Great assumed the office and throne of Tsar in 1685, various flag designs were used by land and naval units of Imperial Russia. In the 18th century the Imperial Russian Army started to have colours of its own. Starting from the 1730s, Cross style flags in the colours of the various military units appeared in various units: large flags for the infantry and the other arms and small flags for the cavalry and horse artillery. These flags mirrored the Commonwealth military colours of today, with one colour set as the state colour and the rest as the regimental and battalion or squadron colours. 1797 regulations introduced new designs for the infantry—for regular units, the state colour being white with the state emblem and the company, battalion and/or regimental colours using the assigned colours of their units, for the Imperial Guard a different emblem was used, and the design was identical. New colours were issued in 1800, but only Guards units used them. Regulations set in 1813 unified infantry unit colours into one. Guards units used the orange and black of the Order of Saint George with the facing colours and unit emblem at the centre. All these years, the cavalry colours were different. Naval flags, until 1861–62 (with a brief break in the late 1790s) whilst using the St. Andrew's cross in blue on white, mirrored the British Royal Navy. From 1942 onwards, each regiment in the Red Army, armed forces of the Soviet Union (especially the Army and Air Force) had its own colour, which was produced to a standard design: *Obverse: red field, a red star yellow bordered and the full name and number of a military unit/school below. Each unit has its own inscription. *Reverse: red field, a gold hammer and sickle and the motto "For our Soviet Motherland!" (''За нашу советскую родину!'', ''Za nashu sovyetskuyu rodinu'') The colour was gold fringed. The former designs had a red star on the reverse with the name of the Central Executive Committee and later, the Supreme Soviet of the USSR surrounding it, and the obverse had the unit inscription below the coat of arms of the Soviet Union, which had the Soviet Union state motto ("Workers of the world, unite!") and the red star with the hammer and sickle inside (both were on the flag of the Soviet Union) above it (the latter was near the hoist). Naval flags until 1935 sported different designs. (Distinguished units would be given a second colour, the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor, Revolutionary Red Banner of Honour, by the all-Union CEC (before 1924 by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee).) The Soviet Navy colours had the 1935 official design with them (it was later revised in 1950), with additions for units honoured with the Order of the Red Banner, but in 1964 the Supreme Commander's and Defence Minister's own naval colour and the colours of the Navy Commander-in-Chief (formerly the Minister for the Navy) and Chief of Naval Operations were issued with different designs used, with the addition of the Armed Forces General Staff's own naval colour. The first colour was red with the USSR state arms, the next two had the arms with blue stripes indicating office rank, and the final two were adaptations of the naval ensign (with a different ensign with the rank) plus the stripes. The 1935 design (that of a white field with a blue lower stripe and the red star plus the hammer and sickle above the blue stripe) replaced a much earlier, post-revolutionary naval colours design adopted in 1925. In 1944 a different flag was issued to the Navy for its land based units – the same design used by the Army with a different obverse having the unit name below the naval ensign. Early flags even had the RKKA and RKKF insignia (the Army General Staff, represented by crossed blue rifles and later became the General Staff's naval colour until 1964, the Naval General Staff and the Army Naval Operations Staff, later the flag of the People's Comissariat for the Navy on its 1938 creation and was issued with two new colours for the Navy Commissar and Deputy Commissar) beside the hammer and sickle, even the flags of the People's Commissar for National Defence and that of the Navy General Staff and the various flags of naval officers which had the ensign on a canton surrounded by a red field, derived from the Navy Commissar's. The cruiser ''Aurora'' since 1968 has had a different version of the ensign, flanked by the Order of the Red Banner and of the Order of the October Revolution on the top sides of the star, as the ''Aurora'' was the only naval recipient of the latter order in 1967 while in 1918, the Order of the Red Banner was conferred to the ship.


=Regimental colours of the Guards units

= The colours of those regiments that were classed as "Guards (Russia), Guards" was slightly different as per 1942 regulations. These had the portrait of Lenin, the ''Za nashu'' motto and the abbreviation "USSR" (''СССР'', ''SSSR'') on the obverse and the small star with hammer and sickle in its centre, unit's name and a motto on the reverse of the colour. The mottoes were different for every regiment (for example, those regiments made Guards in the Great Patriotic War bore the motto "Death to the German invaders", ''Смерть Немецким захватчикам'', ''Smyert' Nyemyetskim zahvatchikam''). In some Guards Armies and Corps, different designs on the obverse and reverse were used. Even the Lenin portrait was different in these colours. All of them were gold fringed. The Navy's Guards units still had the 1935 design, with the addition of the Guards ribbon below, except for units which were honoured with the Order of the Red Banner and became Guard units later. The difference is in the red five-pointed star, in which Red Banner Guard unit flags had applied the Guards ribbon below aside from the Order of the Red Banner on the star for units that had the order bestowed on their colours earlier. Units which used the 1944 regimental colour design but adapted for the navy's guards units included air and marine units which still had the obverse of Army and Air Force guards units standards.


=Colours of the present-day Russian Armed Forces

= Since the birth of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the old Soviet unit colours were retained. Starting in 1998, the traditional Imperial Russian Armed Forces flag designs were reinstated; however, the new designs began to appear in the early years of the 21st century in the Army and Air Force. But the Russian Navy's old naval colour (Saltire, St. Andrew's cross in blue on a white field) began to be used again in 1992. It has several variations, and the old jack colour of the Soviet Navy (pre-1935) soon became its jack colour, with the red star with the hammer and sickle removed. The unit colours (especially those of the Navy honour guards) have the same design with the unit insignia at the centre of it while Guards units and bemerited and decorated units apply a different version of the colour. The new Army and Air Force unit colours are square shaped, have St. Andrew's cross in the colours of the Ribbon of Saint George, and with the unit insignia in the middle of the observe and the national arms at the reverse, with the service branch emblem on the corners. These colours are the basis for similar ones used today in the various Russian uniformed services.


Spain

* Standard colours: Units of the Spanish Armed Forces have a single colour based on the Flag of Spain, national flag. This has the coat of arms in the centre of the flag, surrounded by the regiment's name in black lettering. Red and yellow tassels are attached to the
finial A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature. In architecture, it is a small decorative device, employed to emphasize the apex Apex may refer to: Arts and media Fictional enti ...

finial
which have the battle honours embroidered on them. Formerly a white regimental colour with the unit insignia on the middle of a red Cross of Burgundy flag, Cross of Burgundy or at the sides was used by these units until the adoption of the present colours design in 1843. * Coronelas: Up until the early years of the 20th century, some Spanish regiments had a ''coronela'' , or King's Colour in addition to their Regimental Colour based on the national flag. Although officially the only colour is the standard one, some older regiments continue to carry a copy of their old ''coronela'' which are used on some occasions to maintain regimental traditions. However, the coronelas no longer have any official standing and are not used on official occasions. The design of such colours are white with the royal arms at the centre and the unit insignia and honours at the sides. * Second order colours – regimental/wing guidons and banners: In the Spanish Armed Forces, guidons and banners are second order colours, but are more smaller (guidons are medium square shaped while banners are small square shaped). Guidons are used by battalions, squadrons and groups (even vessels) in the Armed Forces while the banners are used by companies, troops, flights and batteries. All have different and unique designs with some of these having the old Burgundy cross on them. These have also the unit insignia at the centre. Like the Regimental Colour the finials of these colours have the attached unit battle honours and decorations.


Sweden

The design of the colours of the Swedish Armed Forces of today dates back to several separate regulations from early 19th century up to the first united regulations of the three fighting services in 1972. The majority of the army colours are dated back to the summarized regulations of 1950. The colours of the Swedish Amphibious Corps (former Swedish Coastal Artillery) were decided in model 1944. The colours of the Swedish Air Force were modelled in 1938. Most older colours are embroidered by hand while younger ones can be both machine and handmade. When a military unit, as regards traditions, is amalgamated with another, both colours will be carried together. In principle this will go on as long as both colours are usable. When one of the two (or more) no longer can be repaired, the unit will be granted a new colour. This new colour will reflect the traditions of both units without altering the prescribed model. Exceptions from this rule are: * The Life Guards (Sweden), Life Guards (LG) which maintains its privilege to present both the colour of the former Svea Life Guards (I 1) and the standard of the former Life Guard Dragoons (Sweden), Life Guard Dragoons (K 1) * The South Scanian Regiment (P 7) which maintains its privilege to present both the colour of the South Scanian Regiment (P 7) and the standard of the former Scanian Dragoon Brigade (''Skånska dragonbrigaden'', MekB 8) * The Artillery Regiment (2000), Artillery Regiment (A 9) which maintains its privilege to present both the standard of the Artillery Regiment (A 9) and the honorary standard of the former Wendes Artillery Regiment (A 3) * The Uppland Regiment (signals), Uppland Regiment (S 1) which maintains its privilege to present both the colour of the former Uppland Regiment (signals), Royal Signal Regiment (S 1) and the colour of the former Uppland Regiment, Royal Uppland Regiment (I 8) A colour is normally granted to the following by the King, by the Prime Minister or the Commander of the Armed Forces: * an army unit belonging to the Infantry Branch, the Swedish Armoured Troops, Armoured Troops, the Swedish Engineer Troops, Engineer Troops, the Swedish Army Signal Troops, Signal Troops and the Swedish Army Service Troops, Service Troops * the regiments of the Amphibious Corps * the wings of the Swedish Air Force


Turkey

The Flag of Turkey is used by the Turkish Armed Forces as a National Colour, and thus has distinguishing features: * the golden TC (Turkish monogram for Republic of Turkey) on the top left corner, surrounded by golden rays * the regimental name, abbreviated, below the crescent and star in white


Ukraine

Maroon and gold are the colours used in the military colours used in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with origins in the Imperial Russian Army's Cossacks and Ukrainian units. In the observe the Coat of arms of Ukraine, surrounded by a gold wreath, is at the centre of an Orthodox Cross – both symbols form the emblem of the Armed Forces – with a St. Andrew's Cross under it with the same emblem in the sides, with the Armed Forces Motto (''For Ukraine, For its glory'') surrounding the emblem and crosses. The unit's name is in the reverse. The same design is used in the National Guard of Ukraine but in blue and with the 2015 grenade badge. Active duty NG units sport dark blue colours with the Orthodox Cross, grenade and the coat of arms at the corners. Only the 93rd Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine), 93rd Mechanized Brigade (Ground Forces), the Ukrainian Air Assault Forces and the Ukrainian Naval Infantry have been granted additional colours so far in addition to the official maroon unit colours. The State Border Guard Service of Ukraine shares a similar colour design to the Armed Forces but with the green colour added to distinguish its units.


Yugoslavia and post-Yugoslav nations

The first Yugoslav military colours came about when the Kingdom of Yugoslavia was established in 1918. These were the square versions of the Flag of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia with the state coat of arms and the motto of the Yugoslav Royal Army. The unit names were attached to a ribbon at the pole. The colours were inspired by the military colours of Serbia and of the Croat, Slovene and Bosnian military units of resistance against Austria-Hungary during the First World War. With the birth of the communist Yugoslav partisans, Partisans in 1941 in time for the Second World War, their flags showed the same Pan-Slavic colors, Pan-Slavic colours on them (arranged according to nationality) but this time a red star was added in the middle. The naval units had a different ensign used and these flags became the basis for the military colours of Democratic Federal Yugoslavia at the time of its 1943 proclamation. By the time, these flags had the unit name on the pole pennants and were gold fringed. The Partisan General Staff had their own version of it. Post-war colours (from 1947, when the nation became a Federal People's Republic) used various flag design with the Yugoslav People's Army motto in Serbo-Croatian (''For the freedom and independence of the socialist fatherland'') both in Cyrillic and Latin and differed per unit or service arm of the YPA, but was longer and were gold fringed. Just as before, the unit name stayed on the attached ribbon. Both the Flag of Yugoslavia and the flag of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia were used as National Colours in parades. Unique colours were issued to the Navy, to YPA reserve units and the Territorial Defence Forces of the republics. Today all the nations comprising the former Yugoslavia have separate colour traditions per armed forces, but keep their unique appearance.


Guidons and standards


Commonwealth of Nations

The standard is the colours-equivalent for the heavy cavalry (e.g., horse guards and dragoon guards). At 27 in × 30 in, on an 8 ft 6 in long pole, it is much smaller than infantry colours, so that it can be carried by a soldier on horseback. The guidon is the equivalent for the light cavalry (e.g., dragoons, light dragoons, hussars and lancers). It is swallow-tailed, 27 in × 41 in, with an 8 ft 6 in long pole. The word ''guidon'' is a corruption of the French ''guyde homme'' – 'the guide man'. Originally each troop had its own, but this was quickly reduced to a single, regimental one. With the increased dispersion of troops required in the light cavalry role, their operational function had ceased by the 1830s and they were discontinued. The regiment's Timpani, kettledrums, with the battle honours woven onto the drum banners (with the exception of 3rd The King's Own Hussars and its successors, where they are uncovered, with the battle honours engraved onto the kettledrums themselves) became the focal point of the regiment's loyalty. In 1952 King George VI reintroduced the guidons of the light cavalry for ceremonial purposes. Both the standard and the guidon are usually of crimson trimmed in gold and with the regiment's
insignia An insignia () is a sign or mark distinguishing a group, grade, rank, or function. It can be a symbol of personal power or that of an official group or governing body. On its own, an insignia is a sign of a specific or general authority and is ...

insignia
in the centre. The regiment's battle honours are emblazoned on both the obverse and Obverse and reverse, reverse, up to a maximum of 22 on each side.


Denmark

Cavalry (armour) units carry a standard ( da, estandart), of similar design to the infantry colour, but smaller and square, with the cross centred on the field. The royal cypher is in the upper hoist and the initials of the regiment in the lower hoist. The Guard Hussar Regiment (Denmark), Guard Hussar Regiment's standard is unique, as it has two monograms – with King Frederick VI of Denmark, Frederick VI's monogram in top right corner.


France

In the French Army, mounted units carry ''étendards'' (standards). Mounted units include Armoured corps and Cavalry, Artillery, Transportation, Army Aviation, and Supplies. The étendard is a 64 × 64 cm square flag similar to the ''drapeaux'' carried by the units of foot, with the same design: the regimental name at the observe and the battle honours at the reserve.


Italy

In the Military of Italy, Italian Army, cavalry units carry a ''stendardo'' (standard) of the same pattern as the ''bandiera di guerra'', but which measures 60 cm × 60 cm.


The Netherlands

The five hussar regiments of the Royal Netherlands Army carry a (standard), of similar design to the infantry colour, but smaller (50 cm × 50 cm).


Portugal

Until the 1960s, the Portuguese Armed Forces, Portuguese Military followed the traditions of its foot units having colours ( pt, bandeiras, literally "flags"), while mounted units had standards (''estandartes''), the latter being smaller versions of the colours. Standards were also carried by naval and aviation units. In the 1960s, the traditional separation between colours and standards was abolished, with all being reclassified as "national standards" (''estandartes nacionais''). At the same time, a new type of standard, the heraldic standard, was introduced. Presently, the military units, commands, forces and establishments have both a national standard and an heraldic standard. While the design of the national standards reflects the Flag of Portugal, National Flag, the designs of the heraldic standards reflect the individual heraldic symbology of each of the units. In the Portuguese military parlance, a guidon (''guião'') is a small square flag of a battalion sized unit. Guidons of a very simple design were introduced in the 19th century, as the tactical field signs of the foot units that didn't carry colours, namely the second battalions of the infantry regiments and the independent ''caçadores'' (light infantry) battalions. In the early 20th century, the tactical role of the guidons was discontinued. The guidons assumed then a ceremonial role, coming to have a more elaborate design which incorporated the symbology of their respective units. Guidelines for the design of guidons accordingly with heraldic rules were introduced in the 1950s, these becoming mandatory and standardized in the 1960s. The present guidon design - similar in all branches of the Military - consists in the quadrature of the coat of arms of the corresponding unit or of its parent unit, framed by a bordure. The colours of the bordure can be used to identify a sub-unit inside its parent unit. Besides heraldic standards and guidons, the Portuguese military units also use heraldic pennants (''flâmulas''). These are small swallow-tailed or triangular flags used to identify company sized units. Some of the Portuguese uniformed security forces and civil emergency organizations also make use of heraldic standards, guidons and pennants, usually modelled after the military ones.


United States

In the United States armed forces, guidons are much more prevalent, with units below battalion size being authorized to use them. In the US Army, these are swallow tailed flags that are 20 in × 27 in, and are in the colour of the branch of the service the unit is from, with the branch's insignia the most prominent device. Also on the guidon is included the unit's identifying letter, and the number(s) of its parent unit. War service and campaign streamers are not attached to these guidons, but unit citation streamers can be.


Guns

In regiments of the (British) Royal Regiment of Artillery, Royal Artillery, and artillery regiments of other Commonwealth countries, the guns are afforded the status of colours. This is due to the difficulty of artillery regiments being able to carry flags onto the battlefield, and the fact that the guns themselves were the rallying points for the soldiers manning them. As a consequence, whenever artillery regiments parade, the etiquette that would normally be applied to the colours is applied to the guns. During the Battle of Balaclava gunners abandoned their guns, in effect abandoning their colours, causing disgrace. Because the guns have the status of colours, gunners of commonwealth countries will attempt to prevent their guns falling intact into enemy hands both for practical reasons (so that the guns can not be turned and used against their own side) and for the honour of the regiment. For example, the last action of gunners of the Royal Artillery during the fall of Singapore was to destroy their guns. The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest regiment in the British Army, and not part of the Royal Artillery, is the only artillery regiment to have both colours and guns, which are treated with equal respect. In Singapore, however, since its independence the Singapore Army's artillery arm (the Singapore Artillery) uses colours instead of guns; this is also the case for the Malaysian Army, Pakistan Army, Royal Cambodian Army and the Royal Thai Army, whose artillery units use colours and not guns on parade. This has been the same case for the Indian Regiment of Artillery, which presents colours in dismounted parades, and the Sri Lanka Artillery, which has a strand of colours similar to the HAC.


Etiquette

*The Regimental Colour (or Standard or Guidon) is always paraded whenever the regiment is on a formal parade. However, the Sovereign's (King's or Queen's)/Presidential Colour is only paraded on certain occasions. *Compliments (for example saluting and presenting arms) are always paid to the (uncased) Colours. *When the Colours are being paraded, they are carried either by a commissioned officer, subaltern or warrant officer, dependent on the regiment. On parade, the Colours always have an armed escort, the Colour Party, who would normally be non-commissioned officers. In the infantry this role usually falls to Colour Sergeants. *When the Colours are not being military parade, paraded, most regiments house them in their Mess, Officers' Mess. They are ''cased'' and secured every night. *When a regiment is Presentation of Colours, presented with new Colours, the old Colours, which will now never again be paraded, are laid up (i.e.: put on permanent display) in a place sacred to the Regiment (for example the cathedral, Regimental Chapel).


Ceremonies of colours


Royal Navy

The British Royal Navy and other navies of the
Commonwealth of Nations The Commonwealth of Nations, generally known simply as the Commonwealth, is a political association of 54 member states, almost all of which are former territories A territory is an administrative division, usually an area that is under the ...

Commonwealth of Nations
call the flag-raising ceremony that happens every morning when a ship is in harbour ''colours''. In British home waters, colours is conducted at 0800 (eight bells in the morning watch) from 15 February to 31 October inclusive, and at 0900 (two bells in the forenoon watch) during the winter. When sunset is at or before 2100, flags are lowered at sunset at the ceremony of ''sunset''. When sunset is after 2100, the evening flag lowering ceremony is called ''evening colours'' and carried out at 2100.


United States Navy

The United States Navy performs the same ceremonies, called "Morning Colors" and "Evening Colors", at 0800 and sunset each day. When "Colors" is played aboard Navy and Marine Corps bases, those outdoors must stop to render proper courtesies by saluting if in uniform or, if out of uniform, by standing at attention, until "Carry On" is sounded. Marines and sailors driving on base during this time are expected to stop their vehicles and stand at attention until the ceremony is over.


Yacht clubs

Many traditional yacht clubs worldwide also conduct morning and evening colour ceremonies. At 0800 each morning and at sunset during the club's active sailing season the ceremony is performed by the launchmen or harbourmaster. * First, a bell is sounded as an alert for all members and guests present to stand at attention. * A cannon is then fired and the national ensign hoisted (or lowered if sunset). * At the conclusion of the ceremony the most senior officer present says: "As you were" and members and guests may carry on.


In games

Capturing an enemy's flag was formerly a major goal in war, and it is still practised today, and so capturing the enemy flag also appears in several games: *Capture the flag *''Stratego'', a board game where the goal is to capture the enemy's flag *Chess: In Estonian the queen (chess), queen is known as ''lipp'' ("standard"), while in Italian the bishop (chess), bishop is called ''alfiere'' ("standard-bearer")


See also

*Glossary of vexillology *Historical colours, standards and guidons *Trooping the Colour *Presentation of Colours *Vexillum *War flag *With flying colours


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

* BR1834 – ''Royal Naval Handbook of Ceremonial and Drill'' * {{refend


External links


Flags of the World


Types of flags Military insignia