In military terms the flag or ‘colour’ is the emblem that represents the life of a company or regiment, especially battle honours. The pride in the regimental flag was such that, it was said, if it was captured, the regiment was disbanded.
In the 17th Century military flags underwent a proliferation due to the English Civil War, as various new regiments were created on both sides. A regimental commander would need his own flag, the purpose being to tell everyone who you were, and who you supported in their cause.
The flags were hand-painted on material (including silk) and measured a standard six feet square. The colours and devices (another name for an emblem or a badge) that were used are somewhat speculative, as unfortunately most of the records for the regimental flags of the period have been lost. Fortunately, a few which still exist make the basics clear.
During the Civil Wars, Sir Edmund Verney died defending the Royal Standard at the Battle of Edgehill. It was found with Sir Edmund’s severed hand still grasping it, but his body was never recovered from the battlefield.
An Ensign (lowest commissioned officer), would be the person to carry and flourish the colour, both on parade and the battlefield.
Captain Charles Ffoxes Colour ~ being a single gold crown with white silver pearls, the Tudor rose white silver in the middle and the outward leaves shadowed with silver, all on a red field with the St. George canton on the whole leftmost third of the field. Gold bullion tassels and cords of two-feet in length adorn the colour. A gold spear point atop the pole.
Red (Gules) represents: Courage and/or gallantry, military strength together with determination and dignity, upheaval, hardiness, Royal blood.
The flag of St. George could be that the white background represented peace and purity, whilst the red cross represented courage and military strength.
Above: (book cover photo) Ffoxes Company Commanding Officer Captain Paul Stanley
( shown in role of Ensign )