No announcement yet.

Battalion and Company Fanions

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Battalion and Company Fanions

    In December 1811 Napoleon himself wrote the new regulations governing the issuance of eagles for the Grande Armee.

    One eagle per infantry regiment, line or light, as well as one for each cavalry and artillery regiment was authorized. This eagle would be maintained by the first battalions of the infantry regiments and the first squadrons of the cavalry regiments.

    Regarding the infantry regiments, the other battalions would carry colored fanions, one meter square in size, carried by a sergeant with no decorations or battle honors.

    The battalion fanion colors were:

    2d Battalion: white.
    3d Battalion: red.
    4th Battalion: blue.
    5th Battalion: green.
    6th Battalion: yellow.
    7th Battalion: violet.
    8th Battalion: sky blue.

    The order for a plain colored fanion was enthusiastically ignored, especially by detached battalions serving away from their parent regiment. Napoleon intended that the fanions were to only be guides and markers with no battalion or regimental designation on them at all. The regimental commanders and their subordinate battalion commanders used hunting horns, grenades, eagles and various other martial ornamentation and many times would ignore the prescribed color scheme and use their own design for the fanions.

    In the Imperial Guard infantry, the fanion colors were:

    Voltigeurs: red.
    Tirailleurs: white.
    Flanquers: yellow.
    Fusiliers: blue.

    Once again, the regimental and battalion commanders enthusiastically ignored the requirement to keep them plain.

    The small company fanion, which was the equivalent of the modern guidon in the US Army and Marine Corps, was a small square flag on a soft-wood stick that fit into the barrel of the musket. They were used to mark company areas, align troops in formation, and were again quite ornate and definitely would 'dress up' any formal occasion.
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

  • #2
    for more see


    Latest Topics