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


Colours have, with few exceptions, always been carried to designate separate regiments or corps. The exceptions are the Artillery, the Engineers, the Militia and Volunteer Engineers, the Royal Marine Artillery, the Militia Artillery, and Volunteers, and the Rifle Regiments, Hussars, Lancers, and Yeomanry. Formerly every company or squadron had a colour, and this was afterwards reduced to two, one of which was square, the other swallow-tailed. These are now reduced to one in the cavalry and two in the infantry. In the cavalry the "standard" of Dragoon Guards is of crimson silk and square, and bears the Royal title, the number, and other details ; the "guidon" of Dragoons is of crimson silk, but is swallow-tailed in form. The colours of infantry are of silk. The "Royal" or first colour is the "Great Union," or Jack with the crosses of St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Patrick conjoined, and bears in the centre the territorial name of the regiment, crowned. The "Regimental" or second colour is of the same colour as the facings except when the latter are of white, in which case the colour is to be the cross of St. George on a white field, and bears the ancient badges, distinctions, and mottoes which have been conferred by royal authority. They are carried by the two senior lieutenants, while cavalry standards and guidons are carried by troop-sergeants-major. Colours are too conspicuous a mark for long-range rifles to be taken into battle in future wars. The "presentation of new colours" to a regiment, conducted with a short religious service, is a familiar ceremony. Old regimental colours are usually deposited in a church.