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The Flags of Our Fighting Army - Including standards, guidons, colours and drum banners
Ever since the time when the Romans went into battle, inspired by the vexillum or labarum, military flags or colours have commanded a respect bordering almost on the sacred. Our own history is crowded with incidents which go to prove this contention. Who is there, for instance, who has not heard of the gallant deeds of Melvill and Coghill, two heroes who lost their lives in an endeavour to preserve the Queens colour after the disastrous Zulu encounter at Isandlwana? Or let us take the case of Lieutenant Anstruther, a youngster of eighteen, in the Welsh Fusiliers. In defending the colour he carried up the treacherous heights of the Alma, a shot laid him low, and eager hands snatched up the 2emblem without a moments hesitation lest it should fall into the possession of the enemy. No one thought of the danger which might overtake them whilst guarding the cherished but conspicuous banner; all were resolved to perish rather than it should be wrested from their grasp. And, let it be said, five men won the Victoria Cross that day at the Alma for their gallant defence of the colours. At the battle of Albuhera, in 1811, a colour of the 3rd Buffs was carried by Ensign Thomas. The French attacked in great force, and, surrounding Thomas, called upon him to give up the silken banner. Thomass answer was discourteous, but to the point; a moment later he lay dead, and the French bore away the flag with triumph. To the credit of the Buffs, we must add that the emblem was back in their possession before nightfall. These are just a few cases in which men have been ready, and even eager, to make the great sacrifice rather than lose their colours. They could be readily multiplied a hundredfold. Fortunately, we have now reached an age when valuable lives can be no longer spent in defending military flags against the onslaughts of enemy rivals, for, to-day, there is a rule in our army regulations which forbids the taking of colours into the field of action. Before setting out to meet the foe, they are placed in safe keeping, and the rites which attend this ceremony partake of the utmost solemnity. If military flags, which comprise the standards, guidons and drum banners of the cavalry, and also the colours of the infantry, have been reverenced in war, they are equally respected in peace time. They may never be sent from place to place without a properly constituted escort, which will 3pay them the customary honours, and an army regulation says that standards, guidons, and colours when uncased are, at all times, to be saluted with the highest honours, viz., arms presented, trumpets or bugles sounding the salute, drums beating a ruffle. When new colours are taken into service their reception is impressively conducted, and the old ones are trooped before being cased and taken to the rear. ......Buy Now (To Read More)
Ebook Number: 56830
Author: Johnson, Stanley C. (Stanley Currie)
Release Date: Mar 24, 2018
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