Oldest cavalry regiment in Britain to retire regimental flag

The flag will be laid at Canongate Kirk.

Sunday, 1st December 2019, 4:00 pm
The standard of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.
The standard of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

The oldest surviving cavalry line regiment in the British Army will lay its standard to rest tomorrow following a parade down the Royal Mile.

The old standard of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards will be replaced by a new one presented to the regiment by the Queen in 2018.

The regiment will be accompanied by a band, mounted soldiers and a Jackal army vehicle in its parade towards the Canongate Kirk.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Queen presents the new standard.

The group will set off from the castle esplanade at 2pm and march down the Royal Mile, arriving at the Kirk for a ceremony at 3pm.

A saluting dias will also be present outside St Giles Cathedral.

A regimental standard is a type of flag unique to regiments of heavy cavalry, which are central to the tradition and history of the regiment.

In the past they would have been carried into battle, and would have been an important focus of moral and pride for soldiers.

They also showed soldiers their place on the battlefield amid chaos and poor visibility due to smoke from firearms and cannons.

The standard is decorated with a regiment’s battle honours for past conflicts, and is traditionally used during ceremonial events.

The Queen awards a new standard to the regiment every 25 years, and when a new one is presented the old one is traditionally placed in a local church or cathedral to act as a memorial.

The new standard was presented to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards in July 2018 by the Queen.

Her Majesty, who is the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment, flew into the regiment’s base at Leuchars Station to meet some of the soldiers and their families.

The unit saw deployments in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan under its previous standard.

Soldiers in the regiment are currently deployed on NATO Operation CABRIT in Poland.

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is one of the oldest regiments in Britain, with battle honours stretching back to Waterloo, when Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Royal Scots Greys captured a French Imperial Eagle from a French regiment.

This golden eagle is on the regiment’s cap badge, and can be found at the regiment’s museum at Edinburgh Castle.

The regiment in its current form was established in Edinburgh in 1971.

It is an amalgamation of two older regiments: the 3rd Carabiniers or Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards, and the Royal Scots Greys or 2nd Dragoons, founded in 1707.

The current and former regiments together have earned 88 battle honours, 50 of which are represented on the old standard.

The regiment’s museum is at Edinburgh Castle.

Opened in 2006, it houses uniforms, medals, and weapons, as well as the golden eagle captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart at Waterloo.

As a royal regiment, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is permitted to wear the Royal Stewart tartan, which was a privilege granted by HM King George VI, and is worn by the regiment’s pipers.