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Colours from other Countries
Allied countries of the Commonwealth also have the same or similar traditions. . .

Colours of some New Zealand Regiments

The Queen's and Regimental Colours of New Zealand's Wellington Regiment, a Unit that has historical links with Australia through ANZAC
The Queen's and Regimental Colours of New Zealand's "Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Regiment" which has strong historical ties to Australia through ANZAC
Canadian Colours

The regimental Colours

 Colours of  Le Régiment de la Chaudière (Canada)

Canadian Forces Administrative Orders govern the design of colours. The Queen's Colour is based upon the national flag and incorporates St. Edward's Crown and the Royal Cypher 'E II R'. 

The Regimental Colour basic design will vary depending on whether it represents a Guards, Highland or Infantry Regiment. In Guards Regiments the reverse is true; the National Flag forms the basis for the Regimental Colours, with the badge of one of the companies superimposed rather than the Royal Cypher; the central device of the Queen's Colour is the same as that of the Governor General's personal standard.

Battle Honours displayed on a Regimental Colour include the honours awarded to the unit for service prior to the First World War; a maximum of ten honours awarded during each World War; and a maximum of two honours awarded during the Korean conflict between 1950 and 1953. 

Foot Guards Regiments are required to emblazon their battle honours on both the Queen's and  Regimental Colours. Battle honours awarded to Rifle regiments are emblazoned on the appointments of that regiment, most commonly on the drums carried by the band or the cap badge of the Regiment. (Rifle Regiments in Canada traditionally do not carry Colours as they were originally ranger or scout units who had to operate without any fanfare, almost in secrecy).

At Le Régiment de la Chaudière, the Regimental Colours are highly esteemed and respected. The Colours are exposed in the Musée du Régiment at the Lévis Garrison. They are deployed during regimental parades and at the officer's annual Regimental Mess Dinner. As the Colours are carried along, all military personnel must stand at attention and salute them. It is now a tradition at our unit that during regimental parades the senior Lieutenant carries the Royal Colour and acts as the Colours Guard Commander. The junior Lieutenant is designated to carry the Regimental Colour. The Guard is also composed of a Master Warrant Officer or Warrant Officer and two Sergeants. Only the officers given the task can carry and manipulate the Colours. 

After every regimental parade, as required by the tradition, the Colours Guard Commander offers a Calvados (apple brandy) to the guard members and all toast to:

"A LA NORMANDIE" in memory of  D Day, June 6 1944

The Canadian battle honour system draws on the rich heritage of the British forces. British Battle Honours originated with the army, which granted its first honour in 1695 and subsequently recognized honours as early as 1513 to the Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms.

The Black Watch Of Canada

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Queens Each of our infantry battalions carries a Queen's (or King's) Colour and a Regimental Colour. These two colours, known as a stand of colours, represent the heart of a regiment.  The Queen's Colour symbolizes the regiment's loyalty to the monarch, and the Regimental Colour symbolizes the regiment's veneration of it's past. This colour has embroidered on it selected battle honours from its past, along with its name and badges. The Queen's Colour has embroidered on it the Crown and name of the regiment, and uses the Canadian Maple Leaf Flag as a background. Both Colours are carried by junior officers and are escorted by three senior NCOs. The Queen's Colour currently in use by The Black Watch was presented by HM, The Queen Mother at St. Hubert in 1974. The Regimental Colour was presented by her at Molson Stadium in 1962 when all three Black Watch battalions were presented new stands of colours as part of our 100th anniversary celebration. Once colours are retired after 15-25 years of service, they are retired to the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, where over a dozen colours from The Black Watch's history may be seen. New colours are presented in a solemn and impressive ceremony, where the old colours are marched off for the last time and the new colours are consecrated by the Regimental Padre. 
The Queen's York Rangers (Royal Canadian Armoured Corps) 

Regimental Guidon

The Regiment bears twenty-seven Battle Honours. Honours in bold are emblazoned on the guidon.

North West Canada 1885 Vimy 1917 St. Quentin
Ypres 1915/17 Hill 70 Amiens
Festubert 1915 Pilchkem Scarpe
Mount Sorrel 1916 Langemarck Drocourt-Queant
Somme 1916/18 Menin Road Hindenburg Line
Flers-Courcelette Polygon Wood Canal du Nord
Thiepval Broodseinde Cambrai 1918
Ancre Heights Poelcapelle Pursuit to Mons
Arras 1917/18 Passchendaele France and Flanders 1915/18

A quick glance at their Battle Honours will show why this Unit can stand alongside Aussies at any time. They were there beside us at Ypres, Poelcapelle, Passchendaele, Menin Road and more.

Historic Canadian Colours

Butler's Rangers Badge

Colour Party
Butler's Rangers. A Re-enactment group in Canada. Shown are their "Colours" which are faithful reproductions of the originals. Note the Union Flag is the original square type, without a representation for Ireland.

The term "Regimental Colours" is descriptive of the infantry flags which evolved in the British Army, and refers to the two flags of a battalion, the senior of which is called the Queen's (or King's) Colour, and the junior, the Regimental Colour. Together they are referred to as a "stand" of colours.

The design and form of colours of the Canadian Forces today traces its history to a document entitled "Regulations for the uniform Clothing of the Marching Regiments of Foot, their Colours, Drums, Bells of Arms, and Camp Colours, 1747." In general, the regulations put a stop to a former practice wherein Colonels of regiments had placed a device or coat of arms on colours and appointments of regiments under their command. The new instructions gave the design of colours as:

  • The King's, or First Colour, of every Regiment or Battalion to be the Great Union.
    The Second Colour to be the colour of the Facings of the Regiment with the Union in the upper canton...
  • In the centre of each Colour is to be painted or embroidered in gold Roman characters the number of the Rank of the Regiment within a wreath of Roses and Thistles on the same stalk...

This regulation of design, with modifications, is still the basis of the design of Regimental Colours in the British Army today. The design of colours of the Canadian Army, although basically following the same rules as the British, now use the National Flag of Canada as the Queen's Colour (with the exception of Regiments of Guards).

The use of the term "King's Colour" in the 1747 regulations is the first recorded instance where it is used to describe the "First Colour" of a regiment.

Today, it is the custom to place on colours the names of distinctive battles in which the regiment took a prominent part. That custom did not originate until 1784 with the granting of the Battle Honour "Gibraltar." No Battle Honours were awarded for the American Revolution, as that war was basically a civil war, and a defeat for British arms.


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