Last modified: 2011-06-11 by rob raeside
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The Royal Artillery Association site shows its flag.
Bruce Berry, 17 July 2001
This is the ordinary camp flag of the Royal Artillery. A similar flag appears at the Royal Artillery web page. I think the Association's flag could well be based on this pattern, but will have the name of the association and the branch name on it somewhere as well.
Ian Sumner, 18 July 2001
Thanks to the Royal Artillery Museum, I have got a copy of the section of the
2002 regimental standing orders that covers flags, so here is the official word
on the subject:
The Royal Artillery standard is for ceremonial use only. It is to be flown at R.A. Headquarters, including those of formations, units and sub-units, RA establishments and schools, during: visits by Royalty, visits and inspections by the Master Gunner, the Colonel Commandant and the Director Royal Artillery. It is 13.5 inches x 36 inches for a 10 feet flagpole, 18 inches x 48 inches for a 16 feet flagpole, and 36 inches x 96 inches for a 35 feet flagpole.
(Note: the RA standard is the long heraldic style standard I referred to above. It has the RA flag at the hoist, and the fly is red over blue with a red, yellow and blue 'compony' edge. Across the fly are two white stripes with the regimental motto 'Quo fas et gloria ducunt' in black. If the unit wears a formation sign on its uniform then this can be displayed on the standard; also, if it was converted from another arm-of-service, then it can bear its old regimental badge on the standard as well. The standard was designed by Garter King of Arms, and introduced generally in 1945.)
The RA flag is the blue over red flag with the gun badge as shown. The red is specified as UJ red (British Standard 20C49); the blue as dark royal blue (04D45). It is for day-to-day use at all RA headquarters, units and establishments. The three sizes are 24 x 36, 36 x 54 and 48 x 72.
Regimental flags are now laid down by regimental HQ, and the Museum sent me some sketches of those the Regular Army.
The following regiments use the red over blue flag, with the regimental number in gold Roman numerals just below: 12th, 14th, 16th, 26th, 39th and 47th.
The 4th Regiment uses the letters RA doubled, reversed and intertwined, with the regimental number in gold Roman numerals just below, and a crown above.
The 5th Regiment uses the letters RA, etc. on a light blue flag, with in addition the inscription 5th REGIMENT in white above, and ROYAL ARTILLERY in white below.
The 12th Regiment uses the letters RA etc., on a flag of St. George.
The 19th and 40th Regiment use the letters RA, etc. on a flag of St. Andrew.
The 22nd Regiment uses the Welsh flag without any artillery symbols at all.
The 29th (Commando) Regiment uses the letters RA, etc. on a 'commando green' background.
The 32nd Regiment uses the letters RA, etc on a dark blue background.
The 1st, 3rd and 7th (Parachute) Regiments, Royal Horse Artillery have a dark blue flag with the RHA badge in the centre. The centre of the badge is blue for the 1st, red for the 3rd, and maroon for the 7th. The 3rd and 7th Regiments also have the regimental number in gold Roman numerals below the badge.
I've no info. on the flags of Territorial Army regiments.
Ian Sumner, 24 March 2003
The RA mottoes "Ubique" and "Quo fas et gloria ducunt" were granted 10 July
1832 by King William IV, intended to supplant all past and future battle honours
since units of the Royal Regiment of Artillery were "everywhere" the army went.
Most of the Dominions' artillery, like Canada, are an almost identical copy of
T.F. Mills, 13 May 2011
I have come across a photo of a standard. It is that of 667th Anti-Aircraft
Regiment, Royal Artillery T.A. from the early 1950s (raised 1947; disbanded
The regimental number is white; the grenade is yellow. The shield is the formation sign of the regiment's formation, 100 Army Group Royal Artillery. The shield is 1 a red rose, barbed and seeded proper on white, 2 white and light green stripes, 3 red, 4 blue.
Artillery regiments that wished to place an old badge on their standard did so in place of the grenade. I have seen a sketch of the standard of 151st (Ayrshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment R.A, T.A. (dates between 1940-46) with the badge of the Yeomanry in the fly.
In 1947, the regiment converted back to an armoured unit, and the regimental guidon now bears a small Royal Artillery badge. But that is a story.
Ian Sumner, 24 March 2003
image located by Jim Ferrigan, 12 May 2011
Above is an Internet image of a flag which was sold in 2009 as a part of Lot
1058 from Alderfer Auctions & Appraisal of Pennsylvania. It is an image of a
wool , 34” (86.33cm) X 50” (127cm) Royal Artillery Camp Flag with an unusual
designation. "(S) LAA S/L Rgt. RA" which I think stands for Light Anti-Aircraft
Search Light Regiment Royal Artillery; what puzzles me is the (S) a unit
designation of which I am unfamiliar.
Jim Ferrigan, 12 May 2011
"Light Anti-Aircraft Search Light Regiment Royal Artillery" is absolutely
correct. This flag was in use only during the window of 1946-1953 since (a) the
Crown changed with the accession of Queen Elizabeth II, and (b) LAA S/L units
did not exist before 1946. I think all LAA S/L units had been converted to
something else by 1955.
The "S" in brackets (parentheses) is interesting in that it has almost completely faded away. And the script is off center, suggesting that other characters preceded the S. Indeed, I see faded traces of something. The flag would thus have seem to be have been mass produced as a generic for all LAA S/L regiments, and then the individual designations hand painted in. It is the hand-painted part that has faded. No unit began its designation with a parenthetical. The parenthesis qualified something that preceded, almost always the unit number.
Most reserve (Territorial Army) LAA S/L regiments were mixed, meaning male and female, and designated "(M)" after the unit numeral. I'm afraid the "(S)" is unfamiliar to me. It could be a local designation. A typical unit title would be:
565 (M) LAA S/L Regt, R.A. (Surrey)
The order of elements changed over time, e.g. the fictional 565 (Surrey) LAA S/L Regt. R.A., but I don't think there were any such changes in the 1946-1953 time frame.
There were a handful of regular LAA S/L regiments (e.g. 43rd), but none had local designations.
Another possibility is that a would-be restorer mistakenly inserted the "S" where there had been an "M". This theory is supported by the fact that traces of the S remain while the numeral preceding it is completely gone.
T.F. Mills, 13 May 2011
In the British Army, LAA/SL Regiments were, as far as I can see, all created
after 1947 (which gives an 'not before' date); and the crown on the badge
predates 1953 (which gives a 'not very long after' date). The only ones I can
find with an S anywhere in the title are:
344 (Sussex Yeomanry) LAA/SL Regiment
576 (M) LAA/SL Regiment (5th Battalion the North Staffordshire Regiment)
- and I don't think it would be either of those two.
I'm afraid I can't come up with a cast-iron identification. Perhaps (in no particular order):
1) 518, 519 and 531 LAA/SL Regiments were all Scottish, and 666 was another Staffordshire unit. Perhaps one of them expected to include the word '(Scottish)' or '(Staffordshire)' in their title, only to have the privilege denied them - but only found this out once the flag had been made up, which may account for the faded nature of the S.
2) each artillery regiment had a survey section as part of its TOE, so it may be this particular regiment's survey section had a flag of their own.
3) It may have been an error, as Todd suggests, for '(M)'
4) It may have been an error in that there is no red on the flag. RA flags were usually red and blue in some combination; plain blue would be unusual.
Ian Sumner, 13 May 2011
I had a word with a friend who served in the Royal Artillery, and who is
knowledgeable about their history and traditions, but he wasn't able to throw
any light on the flag. I suspect it may be the flag belonging to one of the
sub-units of the mystery regiment, rather than the regiment itself, which would
account for the single colour of the field.
Ian Sumner, 29 May 2011