Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cockade, which would be more correctly written cocarde, denotes a badge, generally worn in the hat, to show the wearer's political or other views. The custom which is now so general of affixing a cockade to the hats of menservants is really no older than the present dynasty, and the cockade as now worn, which is known as the "black cockade of Hanover," signifies allegiance to the House of Hanover as such, though not necessarily as sovereigns of England. The cockade is purely a naval and military badge, and should only be worn by the servants of officers in the army, navy, militia, volunteers, or royal naval reserve, by sheriffs and lord-lieutenants of counties, and others holding military office; and it is a great pity that the privilege of using the mark of distinction is so sadly abused by civilians. The plain circular shape is the naval cockade, and that with a small fan-shaped projection rising above is the military form. A white cockade in "the days long since gone by" was the badge of allegiance to the Stuarts, but nowadays the use of coloured cockades is entirely confined to subjects of other sovereigns than ours.