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United Kingdom: Military Colours Flags

Last modified: 2006-07-08 by rob raeside
Keywords: royal navy | white ensign | colours |
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Royal Navy colour

[Royal Navy King's Colour, George VI] image by T.F. Mills

This is a drawing of the Royal Navy King's Colour from the reign of George VI. I adapted this from a black and white line drawing in T.J. Edwards, Standards, Guidons and Colours of the Commonwealth Forces, (1953). I assume the circlet is blue because it is the Garter. The motto Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense is partially concealed by the crown.
T.F. Mills,
24 January 1999

More details at Royal Navy colour.

Royal Air Force colour

[Queen's colours for RAF] image by Martin Grieve, 25 June 2006

Christopher Southworth prepared a construction sheet based on the illustration by Graham Bartram in BR20. If the flag was introduced in 1947 as we are informed, then the Colour would have contained the Royal Cypher of George VI, ensigned with a Tudor crown of course. This would have changed in 1953, when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II took the throne.
Martin Grieve, 25 June 2006

More details at Royal Air Force colours.

I was recently surprised to discover that there were actually three patterns of Union Flag used on military colours, since I naturally assumed that the RN would use the Admiralty pattern on theirs. Wrong again, that would be far too logical for a British flag. The QC's of the RAF and Royal Marines are the only two sets which use the standard 'Admiralty pattern' of Union Flag, whereas those of the Royal Navy and Army each have their own unique variation. The Army use the Great Union of 1900 which has a counterchanged saltire of even width with a narrow fimbriation added, and a fimbriation to the St George of the same width as the saltire. The pattern used on the RN colour also has a saltire of even widths and added fimbriation, but the fimbriation to the St George is approx 1/4 the cross, whilst (as per the recent post) the colours of the RAF and RM carry the Admiralty pattern.
Christopher Southworth, 25 June 2006