The issue of the Standards (flags) of Russian Army units of the Napoleonic period could and do fill entire books. This is not intended to be a definitive work, just a teaser...err... a sample.
In this summary I have broken the issue of standards into three major categories. Guard infantry, Line Infantry, and Cavalry which includes both guard, line and Cossack cavalry units.
For the infantry there are four Models of standard to be considered. The Model 1800, Model 1803, Model 1806 (St. George standards) and Model 1813. The Model 1800 was issued by Tsar Paul, while the latter three were issued by his son Alexander. The 1800 Models therefore have a Cyrillic "P" for Pavel (Paul) in the corners, and the others an "A" for Alexander. However, many sources cite that the standards were not always replaced and that it was still common to find units with older versions of standards in service long after the replacements were issued.
The standards for all infantry units carrying standards were 53 inches square with flag staffs 119.5 inches tall. These were usually topped with a bronze spear point or "filial" almost 11 inches tall and inscribed with the imperial eagle; except for the St. George Standards which bore the Cross of St. George instead of the eagle. The part of the infantry standard wrapped about the pole and fastened to it with nails was always the color of the "cross" on that standard.
Cavalry of heavy and medium classes carried rectangular standards in a manner similar to the infantry, that is one "white" and a number of colored standards per regiment. Light cavalry as a rule did not carry standards, except the Pavlograd Hussars who were awarded them as a mark of special distinction and favor, but those units armed with lances often did have pennons or guidons attached to the lances. These would generally be Cossacks and Uhlan regiments.
Last updated: 09/20/2013 00:37:00 © Copyright 1998 William L. Liddell l