The Colours of The Second
Tangier 1661 - 1684
Although the four Regiments of the garrison undoubtedly carried Colours in Tangier there are no contemporary accounts or warrants which describe them. Dirk Stoop’s painting of The Review of the Army at Tangier (now in the National Army Museum) does, however, show Colours which correspond with those described in Brook’s General and Complete List, Military etc. published in London 1684, and in Colours and Standards of The British Army, Tempora James II. By the time this picture was painted the four regiments had been reduced to one. These Colours in general follow the pattern of those borne during the Civil War period (see figures 1 and 2) and are described as:
“a red cross bordered white and rays as the admirals on a green field with their Majestys’ royal cipher in the centre”.
The background colour of green is simply explained. In the Stuart era, the colour associated with the personage of the King was blue, of the Queen, green and of the Duke of York, yellow. The Regiment therefore, raised to garrison part of the Queen’s dowry, would naturally take for its colour that of the Queen.
At this time it was the custom of regiments of foot to carry a total of ten Colours – one each for the Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel and Major (who all commanded companies) and seven other company Colours of the same design as that of the Lieutenant Colonel, but with a distinguishing numeral denoting the company - thus ten Colours.