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Pakistani Infantry Regiments

Last modified: 2013-07-27 by ian macdonald
Keywords: pakistan | armed forces | regimental colours |
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Pakistani infantry regiments

Pakistani infantry regiments (of which there are six) and the battalions that comprise them (of which there are many) each carry a regimental colour following the basic British pattern: a solid field, the color varying by regiment, with the regimental badge surrounded by a wreath in the center and scrolls inscribed with battle honors arrayed on either side. From the photographs I've seen, these colours seem to be in the standard British size of 36 x 45 inches (about 91 x 114 cm) with gold fringe. I can't tell what plants comprise the wreath; in most other countries following the British model the wreath is made of plants distinctive to each country (Canada maple leaves, Australia wattle, India ashoka leaves and lotus blossoms).

According to a conversation I had with a Pakistani brigadier at Gilgit, the colors of the flags do not necessarily seem to coincide with the colors of the berets or the background colors for regimental badges and names worn on the uniform. He didn't know all the colors used for the flags, but here's what I got from him and from observation:

Punjab Regiment: Green (insignia backing on uniform is scarlet)
Baloch Regiment: Maroon (same as insignia backing)
Frontier Force Regiment: Rifle green (i.e., very very dark green; insignia backing is black)
Sindh Regiment: Unknown (insignia backing is bright green)
Azad Kashmir Regiment: Unknown (insignia backing is red)
Northern Light Infantry: Unknown (insignia backing unknown)

The Pakistan Military Academy colour is scarlet.

In addition, practically every regiment (and perhaps every battalion) is entitled to carry a national standard--the national flag in parade dimensions with the unit badge embroidered in the upper hoist. This is theoretically an honor earned for long and distinguished service, but apparently is now practically universal among infantry units. When the Northern Light Infantry was converted from a paramilitary unit to a regular regiment in autumn 1999, it was promptly awarded a national standard.

Finally, note that these are colours for ceremonial use. They are formally presented by a high-ranking official or officer and blessed by the battalion imam in a ceremony closely patterned after the British consecration of colours. The corps/regimental flags hoisted over posts and camps are different. I noted the designs of some of those on a drive from Islamabad to Peshawar and will report them separately.
Joe McMillan, 30 January 2003

The first three regimental colours are all colours inherited from the pre-1947 Army. The regimental facings (that is, the collar and cuffs) on the full dress uniform were grass green for the 1st Punjab Regiment (which provided the four senior battalions); cherry red for the 10th Baluch Regiment (as it was then); and rifle green for the Frontier Force Rifles (which provided the senior battalion).
The other three are post-partition. I have something in my notes to the effect that the Sindh Regiment wear maroon berets with a red feather hackle, but nothing else on their uniform, nor on those of the others.
Ian Sumner, 2 February 2003

I couldn't find anyone who knew anything about flags (standards, guidons) carried by cavalry (armored) regiments.
Joe McMillan, 30 January 2003

With a couple of exceptions, the cavalry regiments of the pre-1947 Army ceased to carry sandards/guidons towards the end of the 19th century. Could this still be the case?
Ian Sumner, 2 February 2003

The www.militaryphotos.net site shows some interesting flags from Pakistan:

Ian Sumner, 5 April 2007

See also: