Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Flag follies

Does anyone know which of these two flags are correct for Westphalian line infantry regiments in the period 1808-1812?

The first is from Warflag and the second from Napflags and both claim to be from the period I'm aiming for, but as you can see there's some difference between them! (The resolution is a bit off since I expanded the original file to make a pretty blog picture. It's a lot nicer, smaller!)

Histofig indicates that the first is correct, while Vexillologique Militaire Europeene suggests the second. What is a poor confused wargamer to do?!


  1. Good question. My advice is paint an even number of units, half with each!

  2. MY book, Flags and Standards of the Napoleonic Wars by Keith Over, says "............ In 1810 flags of similar design but with German inscriptions were issued."
    The new flags issued in 1813 were described as less ornate and the laurel surround to the central lozenge having disappeared. And the the German inscriptions were now in Gothic lettering.

    So my vote if for the second flag, being a German inscription, but the Gothic lettering could be a bit suspect.

    1. The problem is, Tim, they're both in Gothic lettering! (Not that you can tell with the first one).

      What were the 1810 flags similar in design to? Don't say the 1809 ones!

      I must say I like the crest on the first one, so unless I find conclusive proof that it's incorrect, I might just go with that one.

  3. I believe it went like this:

    1808 - Flags 90cm square - obverse says LE ROI/DE WESTFALIE/AU 2e REGIMENT/D'INFANTERIE/DE LIGNE and has JN cypher in the corners where the stars are shown. The reverse says VALEUR/ET DISCIPLINE/1er BATAILLON - I don't know of a flag with the arms as shown (which doesn't mean much...).

    1810 - Text now in German, as in your lower example, but in capitals, like a French flag.

    1813 - Text now in Gothic script, regimental number in the corner wreaths and laurel leaves removed from the edge of the central white lozenge.

    So I would go for the lower example, but French-style capital lettering throughout - Gothic script was later. My references are only Vol.1 of Terry Wise's Osprey book on flags, plus assorted notes I've got filed away - origins forgotten.

    Regards - MSF

  4. Thanks all!

    I've also had an email which states that the flag with the crest is a guard regiment flag, rather than a line regiment flag, so it looks like the second flag it is.


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