Colours & Battle Honours
The oldest reference to the colours carried by the Regiment, in 1680, shows them to have consisted of the white cross of St Andrew on a blue ground; in the centre, the Thistle and Crown in gold surrounded by the circle of St Andrew and the motto "Nemo me impune lacessit" in gold. There were several minor variations between the Lieutenant-Colonels', Majors' and Captains' Colours.
In 1707 the union of England and Scotland brought about many changes, and the Colours of the Regiment lost their pre-eminently Scottish design. In 1743 the 1st and 2nd Colours (now known as Queen's and Regimental Colours) were instituted, and from then on various changes were from time to time introduced. The Regimental Colour (of Royal Blue) was embroided with "The Royal Cypher within the collar of the Order of the Thistle with the Badge appendant: in each of the four corners the Thistle within the circle and motto of the order, ensigned with the Crown. The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt".
It is of interest to note that the Regimental Badge comprises within it the Royal Cypher, which changes with each Sovereign, and this fact served to emphasis the Royal title of the Regiment.
The Sphinx, superscribed Egypt, commemorated the part played by the Regiment in the defeat of Napoleon's armies in Egypt.
It is traditional that a Regiment's Battle Honours are embroidered on the Colours, but it is not physically possible to carry them all. The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) were awarded 149 Battle Honours. All 29 Honours awarded before the First World War were borne on the Regimental Colour as was that awarded since 1945. The Queen's Colour contained 10 selected scrolls for each of the two World Wars, some scrolls contain more than one Battle Honour, e.g. Maine 1914, 18. Thus the Queen's Colour contained 15 Battle Honours for the Great War and 11 for the Second World War.
LIST OF BATTLE HONOURS
PRIOR TO THE GREAT WAR (29):
TANGIER 1680, NAMUR 1695, BLENHEIM, RAMILLIES, OUDENARDE, MALPLAQUET, LOUISBURG, HAVANNAH, EGMONT-OP-ZEE, EGYPT, ST LUCIA 1803, CORUNNA, BUSACO, SALAMANCA, VITTORIA, ST SEBASTIAN, NIVE, PENINSULA, NIAGARA, WATERLOO, NAGPORE, MAHEIDPOOR, AVA, ALMA, INKERMAN, SEVASTOPOL, TAKU FORTS, PEKIN 1860, SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902.
THE GREAT WAR (79):
Mons, LE CATEAU, Retreat from Mons, MARNE 1914, 18, Aisne 1914, La Bassee 1914, Neuve Chapelle, YPRES 1915, 17, 18, Gravenstafel, St Julien, Frezenburg, Bellewaarde, Aubers, Festubert 1915, LOOS, SOMME 1916, 18, Albert 1916, 18, Bazentin, Pozieres, Flers-Courcelette, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916, 18, ARRAS 1917, 18, Scarpe 1917, 18, Arleux Pilckem, Langemarek 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917, St Quentin, Rosieres, LYS, Estaires, Messines 1918, Hazebrouck, Bailleul, Kemmel, Bethune, Soissonais-Ourcq, Tardenois, Amiens, Bapaume 1918, Drocourt-Queant, Hindenburg Line, Canal du Nord, St Quentin Canal, Beaurevoir, Courtrai, Selle, Sombre, France and Flanders 1914-18, STRUMA, Macedonia 1915-18, Helles, Landing at Helles, Krithia, Suvla, Scimitar Hill, GALLIPOLI 1915-16, Rumani, Egypt 1915- 16, Gaza. El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa. PALESTINE 1917-I8, Archangel 1918-19.
THE SECOND WORLD WAR (39):
Dyle, DEFENCE OF ESCAUT, St Omer-La-Bassee, ODON, Cheux, Defence of Rauray, Caen, Esquay, Mont Pincon, AART, Nederrijn, Best, Scheldt, FLUSHING, Meijel, Venlo Pocket, Roer, Rhineland, Reichswald, Cleve, Goch, RHINE, Uelzen, Bremen, Artlenberg, NORTH- WEST EUROPE 1940, 44-45, GOTHIC LINE, Marradi, Monte Gamberaldi, ITALY 1944-45, South East Asia 1941, Donbaik, KOHIMA, Relief of Kohima, Aradura, Shwebo, Mandalay, BURMA 1943-45.
SINCE 1945 (2):
Wadi El Batin. GULF 1991.