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Army Regimental flags (Australia)

Last modified: 2019-04-06 by ian macdonald
Keywords: australia | stars: southern cross | southern cross | royal western australia regiment 28th batallion | queens colours | guidon |
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Colours

For the most part, Australian military colors parallel the British usage.
Joe McMillan, 25 January 2002

See also:

Infantry Regiments

1. Queen's Colour.

The Queen's Colour for infantry regiments is the Australian national flag, 36 x 45 inches, with a red circlet on the center of the Union in the canton, inscribed around the rim with the regimental name and with its number or initials in the center, all in gold. Battle honors are inscribed in black letters on yellow scrolls arrayed near the bottom edge of the flag.
Joe McMillan, 25 January 2002

Most infantry regiments are still using the old Union Jack model; when they are worn out they will be replaced by the new version.
Miles Li, 25 January 2002

2. Regimental Colour.

The regiment's facing color, 36 x 45 inches, with the regimental badge in the center, surrounded by a wreath of wattle, and the battle honors in black letters on yellow scrolls.
Joe McMillan, 25 January 2002

'Royal' Regiments use royal blue facing; other regiments (University regiments and regional force) use green.
Miles Li, 25 January 2002

Regimental Colours follow the same rules as the British, with a wreath of wattle leaves substituting for the Union Wreath (roses, thistles and shamrocks).
T.F. Mills, 24 April 1999

According to Joe McMillan's notes, Australian rifle regiments, unlike most British-origin rifle units, do have colours, but Miles Li points out that there are no such regiments left in Australia.
25 January 2002

In British usage, these flags have a 2-inch fringe, of mixed gold and crimson thread in the case of the Queen's Colour and mixed gold and facing-color thread for the regimental. This is the same in the Australian case.
Joe McMillan and Miles Li , 25 January 2002

Cavalry Regiments

Cavalry Regiments carry a guidon, almost identical to that used by British cavalry. Crimson silk, 27 x 41 inches, curving to the fly and with a swallowtail. The fringe is gold and the cord and tassels of gold crimson. The regimental badge appears in the center of a gold-edged red circlet inscribed with the name of the unit in gold, surrounded by a wreath of wattle in gold, and ensigned with the royal crown. In the upper hoist is the regimental number (as a Roman numeral) in gold. Battle honors are arrayed in vertical rows of small gold scrolls on either side of the badge. The regimental motto appears in gold on a gold-edged crimson scroll below the wreath. The finial is the crest of England (a lion statant guardant royally crowned, standing upon a crown, all cast in gilt brass.
Joe McMillan, 25 January 2002

The other difference [from British guidons] is that cavalry regiments descended from those regiments of Light Horse which served in the First World War bear a small representation of the original unit's flash (cloth arm patch) below the motto. That of the 10th Light Horse, for example, is divided diagonally top left - bottom right, black over yellow.
Ian Sumner, 25 January 2002

Are there any Australian cavalry units that carry standards (rectangular) rather than guidons (rounded swallowtail)? In the UK, Household Cavalry and units designated "dragoon guards" get standards, other cavalry have guidons. Same in Canada (Governor General's Horse Guards have standard, others guidons). I don't know of any equivalent regiment in the Australian Army, but in the Indian Army there are regiments other than the President's Body Guard that are authorized standards--as I understand it, those that were considered "heavy" cavalry in the era of horse cavalry, plus some that have been upgraded from guidon to standard for distinguished service.
Joe McMillan, 25 January 2002

All cavalry units in the Australian Army have always been light cavalry (or, as we like to call them, 'Light Horse'), therefore there has never been any standard-carrying unit in the Army.
Miles Li, 26 January 2002

My previous claim that Australian cavalry regiments all used guidons is wrong - at least one particular regiment uses a standard, although it did use a guidon in the past. See the standard of the 1st Armoured Regiment at http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-flags/standards.htm.
Miles Li, 22 September 2004

28th Battalion, Royal Western Australia Regiment

[Royal Western Australia Infantry Regiment, 28th Battalion] by T.F. Mills

The example is the 28th Battalion of The Royal Western Australia Regiment. Since 1960 the Reserves consist of one infantry regiment in each State, with a varying number of battalions. The battalions perpetuate old numbered battalions which fought in two world wars. The Queen's Colour uses the UJ in the canton as an almost identical replica of the British Queen's Colour. A gold-edged circle fills the center of the St. George Cross. Inside the circle is the regiment's name. Enclosed in the circle is the battalion number. Normally the battalion number is in Roman numerals, but XXVIII would not fit aesthetically so it is rendered in Arabic numerals. The Regimental Colour, on the other hand, has the Roman numeral in the canton. The circle is surmounted by a Crown. The Regimental Colour contains eleven battle honour scrolls (South Africa, and ten selected honours from WWI). The Queen's Colour contains ten selected battle honour scrolls from WWII. These are arranged at the bottom of the flag where they interfere the least with the stars and balance the UJ in the canton.

The flag should be fringed.
T.F. Mills, 24 April 1999


Banners

The custom of presenting banners to Australian army units started with the presentation of twenty King's banners in 1904 for service in the Boer War. The banners were presented by King Edward VII to 18 Light Horse regiments, RAA and the Australian Army Medical Corps. A further 23 were presented to infantry units in 1911. It was stipulated that the banners presented to the non-infantry units were not King's colours but

"...honourable insignia presented (by King Edward VII) as a special mark of favour in recognition of valuable services rendered in South Africa during the 1899-1902 war and that honorary distinctions are not to be borne on the banners."
There are currently three types of banners within the Australian Army:
  • the sovereign's banner, which may be presented to any corps or unit, including those with colours;
  • banners presented by other members of the royal family. These may be presented to any corps which does not have an entitlement to standards, guidons or colours, and
  • the governor-general's banner for training establishments that do not possess a colour.
Banners are accorded the same respect and compliments as the Queen's colours.
David Cohen (quoting the latest issue of Army Newspaper), 11 February 1998

I believe that when David Cohen quoted that banners of a military unit, in regards to different types, are accorded high respect and compliment, he meant that they are treated with similar care, and saluted duly whilst being paraded.

They are not, however, accorded the same level of respect. A Queen's Colour belongs to an operational unit and is often won in battle, and thus accorded for great bravery or service. A Governor General's Banner is the domain of a Support Unit, awarded for great service or efficiency. This banner was created so that support units might have some form of lesser equivalent to aspire to. Therefore the Queen's Colour is accorded higher respects than that of a Governor General's Banner.
A.J.P. Scanlon, 13 February 2000

See also:

Miles Li, 22 September 2004

Flag of AusBatt in East Timor

[Flag of AusBatt in East Timor] image by António Martins, 11 Nov 2005

On 1 August, 2001 Dov Gutterman sent a photo of the Flag of AusBatt in East Timor during the UN mandate held by Ron Strachan and W. Smith. It is a dark green 1:2 flag with a large circular emblem over all; this is light blue with a dark yellow ring around it; on it, above, the lettering "United Nations" set in black sans-serif capitals, below "Transitional Authority East Timor" likewise set; on the blue area, a green map of East Timor, missing the Oecussi enclave and all surrounding land areas; overall on the blue area the Southern Cross constellation made with white four pointed stars; all non-letter elements tickly lined in black. On the upper hoist, a very heavy white sans-serif "C", curved below it "6RAR" set in white serif capitals; above the emblem "UNTAET" set in white heavy sans-serif capitals and below the emblem "AUSBATT" likewise set.
António Martins, 11 November 2005

I just noticed that the regimental flag of the Australian Battalion of UNTAET, used in 2000-2002, and the positional color of the Commander of INTERFET, used in 1999-2000, — in both cases international peace-keeping forces sent to East Timor upon its independence — were both green with a blue disc with green map and white elements upon it and a yellow ring all around. Could it be that the latter influenced the former?
António Martins, 18 May 2006


Australian Stabilisation Force in East Timor

[Flag of AusBatt in East Timor] image by Ron Strachan, 26 November 2012

This flag represents Australian participation in Timor Leste. The entire map of Timor is shown, refer black division for west/east. The white star of course appears on the Timor flag and the colours of course are that of Timor.
Ron Strachan, 26 November 2012


7th Light Horse Gundagai Troop

[Flag of 7th Light Horse Gundagai Troop] image by Aaron McMillan, 16 March 2019

This image is not the finished flag but will be on the flag for 7th Light Horse in Gundagai, 375 km from Sydney, central NSW. Light horse/s are unique to Australia, also known as Walers.

The flag may be black on red or black on white.
Ronald C. Strachan, 15 March 2019