Flags of the Guard

 

 

RUSSIAN GUARD INFANTRY STANDARDS

For the period of active Russian involvement in the Napoleonic Wars (1805-1815) the Model 1803 Standard had replaced the Model 1800 for almost all units except the Guard.  The three regiments in original guard status at the time of the Model 1800 issue,   Preobrazhenski, Semionovski and Ismailovski, retained these standards issued them by Tsar Paul until their replacement by the Model 1814's by Tsar Alexander.  There were, as with line infantry, two types of Standards issued per regiment one white and the remaining five "colored". 

Note: While the "white" standards in these images may show a line at the meeting point of the cross and corners. In reality the standards were sewn together in sections and on an actual  "white standard" the joint lines of white colored sections would be essentially invisible at any appreciable distance.

 

The Three Original Imperial Guard Units

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Preobrazhenski; Semionovski; Ismailovski Model 1800 "white" standard

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Preobrazhenski; Semionovski; Ismailovski Model 1800 colored standard
   

 

Both standards had the central round orange disk with the Romanov two headed eagle in black with gold crowns, beaks and claws. The eagles hold a package of red thunderbolts and gold lightning streaks. Inside the disk is a blue ribbon inscribed on one side "God with us" and on the obverse "God's Blessing" in Cyrillic.   The disk is surrounded by a gold wreath, topped by a gold crown and tied at the bottom with a blue ribbon. There are smaller wreaths, crowns, and the Cyrillic cypher for "P" (for Pavel or 'Paul') all in gold in each of the four corners.

The white standards dual crosses were all white, with the right hand corners red over white, and left hand side white over red.  The colored standards had the main "cross" in red, with a thinner white cross superimposed over the top.

 

    Later Additions to the Guard

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Of the units entering the Guard after the 1800 issue the Pavlovski and Lieb-Grenadiers retained the Model 1803 Standards for the St. Petersburg Inspection that they had used as line regiments. 

The Pavlovski grenadier regiment also continued to wear their famed grenadiers brass Mitre hats.  These they retained, even after the rest of the Russian armies grenadier units had switched to the shako style head gear.  All other grenadier units wore shakos, but  with a plume to distinguish them from line units.

As late as 1917 they reportedly still wore the Mitre at dress or parade occasions, many with the bullet holes from Eylau and Friedland, inscribed with the name of the original owner. Supposedly when new members entered the unit they were presented the Mitre in a very grave and solemn ceremony.  As the Soviet military used similar ceremonies albeit with different "icons" I find the tale convincing.  It has also been said the Russians never throw anything away, and I believe it. We may see these mitres again under the Russian Republic.

 

The above are re-enactors of the Pavlovski Grenadier regiment.  They are wearing the Mitre cap, winter overcoat and pants.  Winter pants were white wool, with leather reinforced lower sections while the summer pants were white linen without the reinforcement.  Visible on the cartridge box is the central "grenade" emblem brass plate with it's three flames. Judging from that and the lack of Guard embroidery, "petlitzi", on the collars of the uniforms the period portrayed pre-dates Pavlovski's entry into the Guard.  The figure at the far right is wearing the back pack, this being the later square model.  An interesting earlier model pack was a distinctive cylindrical shape slung diagonally across the back.
   

Pavlovski & Lieb-Grenadiers

These units entered the guard on April 13, 1813 and retained the 1803 Model standards they carried as "line" regiments until the 1814 Standards were issued.

 

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Pavlovski & Lieb-Grenadiers Model 1803 "white" standard

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Pavlovski & Lieb-Grenadiers Model 1803 colored standard

The Litovski Regiment

The Litovski Regiment on entering the Guard in December 1811 was also issued a Model 1803 Standard with a new color scheme:  White Standard - White cross with halved black over yellow corners.  Colored Standards: Yellow cross, with halved black over white corners.

 

Litovski White Standard

Litovski Colored Standard

 

MODEL 1814 INFANTRY OF THE GUARD STANDARDS

On December 24, 1814 all Guard regiments each received six new Model 1814 pattern colored standards and the white standard was discontinued. With the 1814 Model issue all the crosses were yellow, and only the corners distinguished the individual units.

 

STANDARD

REGIMENT

CORNER COLORS

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Preobrazhenski

Red over white, all corners
1814_G_Semionovski_small.gif (5276 bytes) Semionovski Light blue over white all corners
1814_G_Ismailovski_small.gif (5162 bytes) Ismailovski White over white
1814_G_Jagerski_small.gif (5147 bytes) Yegerski (Jager) Green over white, all corners
1814_G_Lithuania_small.gif (4891 bytes) Litovski (Lithuania) Red over black, all corners
1814_G_Marines_small.gif (4520 bytes) Marines of the Guard Yellow over yellow
1814_G_Pavlovski_small.gif (5104 bytes) Pavlovski White over black
1814_G_Grenaderski_small.gif (5111 bytes) Grenaderski (Lieb-Grenadiers) Light blue over black, all corners
1814_G_Finnlandski_small.gif (5090 bytes) Finnlandski (Finland) Green over black, all corners

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   Last updated: 11/05/2013 22:35:51           Copyright 1998 William L. Liddell