Friday, 5 October 2012

Cadet Colours

These are old files and probably some of my oldest flag designs. Between the ages of 12 to 18 I was a member of the Army Cadet Force. I noticed a few flags in my time with the ACF. I will start with flags/banners/colours used or in use. Firstly is the National Banner of the Army Cadet Force. This is a pennant used to represent the ACF at national occasions like the National Remembrance Service. I had the hounour of marching behind it at the Royal Review of the Cadet Forces in 2010, when selected cadets marched to Buckingham palace to mark 150th Aniversary of the Cadet Movement. Here is a clip of the banner at that event.

The insigna in the canton of the banner is the badge of ACF Colonel n Chief HRH Duke of Edinburgh.

The standard design of camp flag (flag flown from buildings and flag poles in camp) is normally a blue and red flag with the ACF badge in the middle:
This is not a standard flag and camp flags might vary from unit to unit but most camp flags are based on this standard design. The flag I saw most in my cadet career was the 1st (Northern Ireland) battalion camp flag. This differed from the standard design as it was a green and red field with the local NI ACF badge rather than the National one. It also had the Roman Numeral 'I' in the canton as we were the 1st Battalion. 2nd (NI) battalion used the same design except the 'I' was a 'II.' 
You can see the flag flying from our climbing tower at one of many public events we took part in below. 
The Battalion Colour was almost exactly the same as the camp flag except the local NI ACF red hand and shamrock badge was moved to the upper fly and replaced with the National ACF badge. 

Most of the time this and the National Colour (which is simply a union flag) were hung up in the officer's mess. But when the battalion or a company of the battalion were on parade and watched by the public, then the colours came out. Here are some images of the colours on parade: 
National colour on left side of pic, battalion on right
The national colour is not here as there is more than one organisation on parade and the senior organisation's union flag is being used (only one union flag is needed for the whole parade) 
Normally cadets train at weekends and normally only one company at a time throughout Northern Ireland is mustered. The battalion flag is used for a company both camp flag and colour, all of the above picture are of a company on parade rather than the battalion. This is were the flag designs begin. These designs were only for my amusement and are not actual flags in use. The first flag is a company camp flag. My company was B Company which covered both Derry City and County Londonderry. 
This would be the standard for all companies. The only things that would change would be the letter in the canton (1st Bn had four companies A,B,C and D) and the colour of the field itself. Yellow was the colour of B Coy, we wore yellow flashes on our arm, our luggage was identified with yellow tabs when the battalion trained as a battalion on mainland UK. 
A company colour came next. This would be the same size as the battalion colour and would only be used when the company was the only ACF unit on parade. Otherwise the battalion colour would be used.
Again it is in the company colour. It is based on the battalion colour. The regional badge has been moved to the bottom fly. and it has more text on it as is common with military style colours.
I didn't stop there though. The Company is broken down into detachments. Every detachment meets one night a week in a local meeting place. Each Detachment is sponsored by a TA or Regular Army unit. As well as being part of the Batalion the detachment is part of the regimental family of its sponsor unit, and would ware the badge and headdress, rank system and carry the traditions of that unit. 
You can probably guess what is coming. I designed Detachment colours. Now these would be about a quarter the size of the company colour, and more like the national banner I mentioned first. They would not be carried on parade the same way the battalion or company colours would, but be more like markers on the parade square.
The first colour I designed was for my own detachment Lisneal Guard  sponsored by the Irish Guards.
The detachment colours had two different sides. On the main side was the badge of the sponsor unit, which would also be the badge worn in the beret or caubeen. In the Canton is the ACF badge and under that is "B 1NI" meaning B coy 1st NI Battalion. This would be the same on all detachment colours. on the reverse is a unique badge to the detachment and the coat of arms of either the city or county. There are a few exceptions but normally infantry detachments have a green colour and corps detachments a blue colour. Lisneal Guard  being a 'Foot Guards' detachment has a crimson colour. Although I did design another one to denote their Guards status.
The Blue, Red, Blue bars of the household division that are worn behind the badge on a guards beret. The Irish Guards badge on the colour. The Royal arms of Ireland on the reverse. Being from the city they have the city of Londonderry coat of arms on the reverse. 

Next up is Caw Detachment RLC. caw is sponsored by 125 (Ulster) Transport Reg which was a regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps. They have the red hand of Ulster as their badge and are from the city.

Drumahoe Detachment RIR are sponsored by the Royal Irish Regiment. RIR sponsored detachments wore the Irish caubeen rather than a beret. Their badge is a sea horse which is an animal which often appears in Irish mythology. They are from the city.

Newbuildings Detachment RIR are also sponsored by the Royal Irish Regiment. Their badge is a Celtic cross. They are from the city. 
Eglington Troop RAMC are sponsored by 253 (North Irish) Medical Reg of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Their badge is a flax flower and they are from the city. The RAMC has the most Victoria Crosses and members of this detachment can wear a crimson flash behind the badge in their beret to denote this fact. That is why they have a red colour. 

That is the city of Derry done, now for the other towns of the county.
Coleraine Detachment (RA) is sponsored by 206 (Ulster Battery) Regiment of the Royal Artillery. They have the county arms in the canton of their colour and have St Patrick's Saltire as their badge.

Garvagh Detachment RIR is sponsored by the Royal Irish Regiment. They have the county coat of arms on their colour, and their badge is the bagpipe, prominent in North Irish military music as well as some traditional Irish and Ulster-Scots music. 

Last but not least is Limivady Troop RSig. Limivady is sponsored by 40 Ulster (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron, Royal Signals Corps. They have the county arms and the shamrock as their badge. B Coy also has another detachment Ballymony in Co Tyrone. But as this detachment was not part of the company when I was a cadet and  when I designed these flags it is not included. 

I also designed special officer colours for Lord Lieutenants. There are two one for the city of Londonderry and one for the county. He or She often represents the monarch at public events and historically raised militias. The L.Lt picks a cadet to assist him/her in public duties and often attends cadet parades as an inspecting officer or guest of honour, so it seems right they should have a colour to mark their place. 
Their colour has the arms of the city/county they are responsible for on one side and a gold shamrock topped by a crown on the other. This comes from their cap badge they ware on their uniform. 
Lord Lt for the city of Londonderry.
And Lord Lt for the county of Londonderry

All the designs for company and detachment flags are my own. I was a young teen when I designed them so sorry if the quality isn't great. Comments Welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sam,
    Am john Harris, Military Pocket books do you know when the current national banner of the ACF was presented.