Swedish infantry king’s colors, model 1766

My latest effort in painting infantry flags for my 1808 Swedish army is a livfana (king’s colors) of the model 1766 type. As in other armies of the period (e.g. Russian, Prussian, etc), Swedish infantry battalions carried a white flag with royal emblem in the first battalion. The first company would carry the king’s colors and the second, third and fourth companies would carry identical company colors with the emblems of the region where the regiment was based. Consequently, the first battalion would carry one white king’s color and one comany color, while the second battalion would carry two company colors. In cases where a regiment had third and fourth battalions (reserve (vargering) or converted cavalry (rusthållsbataljoner)) they did not carry flags of any sort.

The model 1766 king’s colors were used by most regiments, and they was identical for all regiments. Some regiments used older version flags of various models. Prior to the model 1766 the king’s colors were slightly different depending on the regiment (these were based more or less directly on the model 1686, which had the regional emblem in the top left corner of the king’s flag).

The model 1766 king’s colors were used from around 1770 all the way through the Napoleonic period. Most regiments used them, but there are some exceptions (I will try to go into details on this in a later post). It was only in 1819 that the Swedish army adopted what we recognize as the modern Swedish national flag for the infantry, with the blue flag with a yellow cross being used as both company and king’s colors.

On popular demand, I will properly scan this flag as soon as I can and make it available for use by you, the general public! I will then mount it on a figure and use it with my Västmanland regiment. Hopefully, I will also do a few company colors for at least a selection of regiments and put those up on the blog as well. Perhaps I will also try sending the images to a printer and see what kind of quality I can achieve.

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