After 1800, British
infantry colours were based on the second pattern of the Union Flag (with
the Cross of St. Patrick placed over the Cross of St. Andrew).
Otherwise, the previous system was continued, with each regiment
carrying a King's Colour and a Regimental Colour, the latter with a
field in the regimental facing colour. As before, regiments with white, grey
or black facings had a Regimental Colour with the Cross of St.
George throughout on a white field for white or grey facings and on a
black field for black facings. All royal regiments had dark blue
facings. The union wreath now included shamrocks for Ireland.
Most regiments' colours had a scarlet, gold-edged shield bearing the regiment's number in
gold Roman numerals within the wreath. There were variations, however,
especially in the case of Royal regiments whose colours sometimes
displayed the crowned Royal Cypher. The shape of the shield also varied,
as illustrated for the 52nd and 79th Foot. As the years of war wore on,
battle honours were added to the colours, sometimes in the form of badges
such as the sphinx (for service in Egypt) and sometimes as inscriptions
Battalions of Guards
Regiments continued to carry a King's Colour and Company Colours. The
former was scarlet, with or without a canton of the Union Flag, and bore
regimental devices. The latter were Union Flags with company badges and
Roman numerals indicating the number of the company.
Usually a Guards
battalion would carry only one of its several Company Colours in the
Images and information from Alan Pendlebury's
Napoleonic War Flags