Royal Marines operate all over the world, so it's right that our Colours – our flags – should reflect that. The different Commandos have different colours, but they share many key features.
The Queen's Colour shows the Union Flag with a fouled anchor and the Queen's cipher at the centre. A fouled anchor is one with a cable wound around it which is the sign of the Lord High Admiral of the UK (the Queen at present). Above that is, St Edward's Crown surmounted by a scroll inscribed 'Gibraltar', which pays tribute to when British forces won control of the territory at the mouth of the Mediterranean. Below is an image of the globe surrounded by a laurel wreath, which signifies the large number of battle honours won by the Royal Marines around the world. Under that is a scroll inscribed with the Corps motto 'Per Mare Per Terram' (By Sea and By Land in Latin). The cords and tassels are of gold interwoven with silks of the Commando's colour which corresponds to the Commando lanyards worn by all ranks.
The Regimental Colour
The Regimental Colours of the Royal Marines feature a blue flag with a small Union Flag in the canton (the top left corner) nearest the pike head. There is a monogram of Queen Elizabeth (her cipher) surmounted by a St Edward's Crown in the other three corners. The design of the centre is similar to the Queen's Colour, except that the foul anchor is interlaced with the cipher of George IV and the Commando numeral (e.g. 40, 42, 45) can be found below the motto.
As with the Queen's Colour the cords and tassels are of gold interwoven with silks of the Commando's colour which corresponds to the Commando lanyards worn by all ranks.
In the past the Colours were a very important physical rallying point for regiments in battle, as the smoke of gunfire caused confusion for units working in close harmony.
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