Heritage Structure | Section 7 – Special Military Flags

Table of contents


  1. ChRoyal Banners. Royal banners are special flags presented to commemorate specific services, for example, the Royal banner presented to the Royal Canadian Mounted Rifles (Lord Strathcona’s Horse) by King Edward VII for service in South Africa, one of several such flags. The latest banner is the Queen Mother’s Banner of the Canadian Forces (CF) Medical Services, presented in 1985. Designs vary by the circumstances. Extant Royal banners are illustrated in A-AD-267-000/AF-001, Insignia and Lineages of the CF – Formations, Branches, Schools, Establishments Chand other Units. Royal banners:
    1. are presented at public expense as special marks of Royal favour, on specific occasions;
    2. may be carried on parade on important ceremonial occasions for the organization concerned;
    3. are not consecrated Colours and do not receive the compliments paid to consecrated Colours; and
    4. are not replaced when worn beyond usable life, but are then deposited, like Colours, as memorials to the service which the banner commemorates.
  2. Trumpet, Drum, Pipe and Music Stand Banners. Trumpet, drum and pipe banners are ceremonial band equipment. These banners are privately procured with no costs payable from public funds unless specially authorized by National Defence Headquarters. Further details are included in A-PD-202-001/FP-000, Bands, Volume 1: Band Instructions. Banner design is a matter of custom, not regulation. Common practices are as follows:
    1. For organizations with authorized facing colours (see A-AD-265-000/AG-001, CF Dress Manual, Chapter 5), the field of the banners is normally in this colour. The banner is then further emblazoned with the unit official badge and its title, on a scroll.
    2. Other organizations use camp flag or environmental colours as a background, depending on which most clearly identifies them as a specific unit. (Primary visual identification is by the uniform worn by band members.)
    3. Pipe banners are often emblazoned with the unit’s badge, normally on its facing colour, on the obverse, with any arms or badge of a sponsor or donor on the reverse. The colour of the field on the reverse may be the unit’s facing colour or a colour chosen by the sponsor. (Since this presents the donor’s side to the eyes of a reviewing officer on a march past, some units switch sides in their own practice, since this is a matter of unit custom.)
    4. Kettle drum banners are often emblazoned with battle honours in the same manner as the painted shells of side drums. See Chapter 3, Section 2, paragraph 32.


  1. ChKing George VI approved this standard in August 1947 for use by the Royal Regiment of Artillery of the British Army. In January 1956, the British Master Gunner, Viscount Allenbrooke, on behalf of the Sovereign, authorized its use on the same basis by the then Royal Canadian Artillery. The Canadian design, which differs from that of the British Army, is illustrated in A-AD-267-000/AF-003, Part 1, Insignia and Lineages of the CF – Armour, Artillery and Field Engineer Regiments.
  2. The standard is the senior artillery flag.
  3. The standard is not procured at public expense.
  4. It is only flown from flagpoles; it is never carried on parade. It may be flown on ceremonial occasions at the headquarters of artillery regiments, batteries, schools, troops and units, and as a distinguishing flag for the branch’s Colonel Commandant. Details are in the Standing Orders of The Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery.


  1. Military cadet corps are supported by, although not part of, the CF. Their flags are described in general terms in Annex A for the information of CF members.

Page details

Date modified: