Bavarian Cuirassiers Standards

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Introduction

Only little is known about Bavarian cuirassier standards, but a few originals from 1700-1743 have survived and give some information about the design of the standards. It looks like Bavarian standards until 1743 were following the same general pattern. It is noticeable, that standards from the time of Carl Albrecht (1726-1745) look nearly identical with those from the time of Maximilian II Emanuel (1679-1726). Only the monogram was altered from EME to CA. During 1742-45, when Charles VII was Holy Roman Emperor, the standards were of imperial design. After 1745, when Francis I was elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, Bavarian standards had to be changed to electoral pattern again. But in fact, the Electoral Bavarian cavalry regiments still carried standards dated back to the time of Emperor Charles VII, bearing on one side the double-headed eagle of the Holy Roman Empire, and on the other the quartered Wittelsbach crest. We also can assume that standards issued before 1742, if they were in good condition, were still in use. This was common practise during that time to save expenses for new standards.

New standards, which were issued during the reign of Elector Maximilian III Joseph (1745-77), would have his monogram MJ. So it is very likely, that during the Seven Years' War standards of different design were in use.

Description

The standards were rectangular in shape and made of damask silk. The field was richly embroidered, in each corner the cipher of the elector surmounted by an elector's hat. All four sides were heavily fringed. The staff was painted light blue.

Leibstandarte for the colonel´s company until 1743: white field (app. 50 x 48cm) with silver fringes (5cm long)

  • obverse: centre device consisting of a shield bearing the Arms of Bavaria-Palatinate, surmounted by an elector's hat. The shield was surrounded by the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and (since 1729) the Collar of the Order of St. George;
  • reverse: centre device depicting a Patrona Bavariae of various designs, surrounded by rays.

Leibstandarte for the colonel´s company from 1742 to 1745: white field (app. 50 x 48cm) with silver fringes (5cm long)

  • obverse: centre device consisting of a shield bearing the Arms of Bavaria-Palatinate, surmounted by an elector's hat. The shield was surrounded by the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and (since 1729) the Collar of the Order of St. George;
  • reverse: central device depicting a Patrona Bavariae with a red robe and a blue cloak, standing on dark grey clouds and surrounded by silver rays.

Kompaniestandarten until 1743: field (app. 50 x 48cm) in the distinctive color and with silver fringes (5cm long)

  • obverse: allegoric scene, different for each company, or the coat of arms of the owner of the regiment.
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a shield bearing the Arms of Bavaria-Palatinate, surmounted by an elector's hat. The shield was surrounded by the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and (since 1729) the Collar of the Order of St. George.

Kompaniestandarten from 1742 to 1745: field (app. 50 x 48cm) in the distinctive color and with silver fringes (5cm long)

  • obverse: we don't know if the double-headed imperial black eagle was used or not. Perhaps the old patterns were still in use.
  • reverse: centre device consisting of a shield bearing the Arms of Bavaria-Palatinate, surmounted by an elector's hat. The shield was surrounded by the Collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece and (since 1729) the Collar of the Order of St. George.

References

Bavarian Army Museum, Ingolstadt

Der Flaggenkurier 29/2009, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Flaggenkunde, May 2009

Kühlmann/ Papst: Geschichte der bayerischen Fahnen und Standarten mit den Feldzeichen der in Bayern aufgegangenen Staaten Vol. 1, München 1959

Pivka, Otto von and Richard Hook: Napoleon´s German Allies (4) Bavaria, Osprey Men at Arms Series No. 106, 1980

Wise, Terence and Guido Rosignoli: Flags of the Napoleonic Wars, Vol. 1, Osprey Men at Arms Series No. 77, 1978

Acknowledgements

Volker Scholz for the initial version of this article