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Parade for presentation

 of the

 Governor General's Banner

to the

Royal Australian Corps of Military Police


 in April 2001 at Army Military Police Training Centre




King's, Queen's, Royal or Governor General's 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;
    • refer to the presentation of King's Banners to mounted and infantry units after the Boer War and again after WW1.
  • 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, 
    • In the past the Prince of Wales has presented his Banner to Australian units
    • see The Princess Anne Banner below
  • the Governor-General's Banner for training units or other establishments that do not possess a colour.
The first Banners awarded to units of the Australian Military Forces  were presented after the Boer war. They were to the (current names used)
  • Light Horse Regiments
  • Royal Australian Artillery
  • Royal Australian Army Medical Corps.

By 1956 all these Banners had been Laid Up. The RAA was presented with a new Banner in August 1971 to mark it's centenary.

  • Since then Banners (of differing types) have been awarded to 
    • Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps
    • Royal Australian Corps of Transport
    • Royal Australian Electrical & Mechanical Engineers
    • Royal Military College
    • 1st Recruit Training Battalion
    • Army Apprentices School
    • Royal Australian Corps of Signals
    • Royal Australian Corps of Military Police.

Banners are treated in a way very similar to Colours. They are accorded high respect and compliment, and they are treated with similar care, and duly saluted  whilst being paraded.

They are not, however, accorded quite 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.

The Princess Anne Banner

On 10 September 1980, approval was given by Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, LG, GCVO, the RASigs Colonel-in-Chief, for the Corps to carry a banner bearing her Cipher. The banner is known as "The Princess Anne Banner"

Note the Cypher , a stylised "A" on what would be the top left hand corner were the flag flying.

The banner and its accoutrements consist of the following: - the banner, an English Bely, tassel, crown, pike, two SLR rifles, two chromed  bayonets, two scabbards, two swords, and two white leather belts.


The practice of carrying symbols into battle has existed for centuries, the Eagle Standards of the Roman legions being perhaps the best known.

During the thirteenth century the nobility went into battle with their entire body and most of their horse hidden by defensive armour, thus increasing the difficulty of quick identification. 

This was overcome by the use of distinctive badges or crests on their equipment, including pennants or banners.

Colours were used in the British Army originally as a means of identifying the location of the headquarters of regiments in battle. 

In time the Colours became a focal point of regimental esprit de corps and there are many stories of exploits of great heroism by soldiers defending the colours from loss.


In Australia, Colours are carried by the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Infantry Battalions and University Regiments. Banners are carried by those Corps or Units that have had them presented by Royal or vice-regal personages.

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 eighteen Light Horse regiments, the Royal Australian Artillery, and the Australian Army Medical Corps; a further twenty-three of these Banners 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. They are the Sovereign’s Banner which may be presented to any corps or unit including those with Colours by Her Majesty The Queen; 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 which do not possess a Colour. Banners are accorded the same respect and compliments as the Queen’s Colours.

On 10 September 1980, approval was given by Her Royal Highness, Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, LG, GCVO, the RASigs Colonel-in-Chief, for the Corps to carry a banner bearing her Cipher. The banner is known as "The Princess Anne Banner"

The banner was presented at a parade at Simpson Barracks on 29 November 1986, on behalf of Her Royal Highness by His Excellency The Governor General, The Right Honourable Sir Ninian Stephen, AK, GCMG, GCVO, KBE.

The Commanding Officer, Army School of Signals, is the custodian of the banner and is responsible for its security and maintenance. The banner is permanently displayed in the foyer of the Army School of Signals when not being paraded on ceremonial occasions.

An unofficial Artillery banner of unknown origin

Australian Army Band Corps banner

Unofficial "Welcome Home" banner from 1945/6

ANZAC Day Banners

This banner is the Anzac Day marching banner of the 4th, 12th & 13th Field Ambulances which made up the Australian Medical Corps (AMC) section of the 4th Division AIF in WW1.

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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces