Spanish Flags In The Napoleonic Wars: The Artillery And Engineers (1802 - 1814)
Editor's Note: Luis Sorando Muzás works as the flag expert at
the Spanish Army Museum in Madrid, where among other things, he catalogs
Spanish flags and trophies. He recently wrote a book Banderas, estandartes
y trofeos del Museo del Ejército 1700-1843, Catálogo razonado which
was published by the Minstry of Defense in 2001. It is 206 pages long
comes with a compac disk with about 1,200 color photos of flags and
700 pages of text describing the flags, their history, etc. Over 200
of the flags are from the Napoleonic Era! The book cost 18 Euros in
Spain and its ISBN is: 84-7823-812-3
The Spanish Artillery, received in 1749 a beautiful white Colonel’s flag, of approximately 2 x 2 meters, with the Royal Coat of Arms of Fernando VI in its center, between two big lions and lined with trophies. It was given to the 1st Battalion, which in 1806 would become First Regiment. It was carried until 1806, when it was replaced by another one, preferred by the Royal favorite Godoy, which was light blue with the Royal Coat of Arms surrounded of multitude of weapons and trophies. After Godoy fell out of favor, they burned it and the 1st Regiment of Artillery began using their old Colonela of 1749. They continued to use it to 1814, during the whole War of Independence. During this long period, no other Coronela of Artillery existed.
The 1st Regiment, besides its white Coronela, had a blue sencilla flag, also old and of great size, with the red cross of Borgoña, a small Royal Shield in each one of its four corners, surrounded by 4 flags, a cannon and a mortar, and with a white ribbon among the two upper shields with the motto REAL ARTILLERIA. Each one of the other three artillery regiments had two blue sencilla flags, similar to that of the 1st Regiment’s. The 2nd Regiment’s was also of great size aproximately 2 x 2 meters and with the ribbon of REAL ARTILLERIA. Those of the 3rd and 4th Regiments were 1.5 x 1.50 meters, but apparently without the ribbon with the motto. All of them used, between 1806 and 1808, used simpler flags with the same design, but of white color and without the ribbon.
On September 5 1802, the Real Regimiento de Zapadores Minadores were raised. This new regiment would have two battalions and each would receive a flag in accordance with Article 6 of the regulations:
Of the lone Coronela, we know – from the Gazettes - that in May of 1808 the 1st Battalion was able to escape with it and united with the Army of Valencia, but it disappear in the capitulation of Valencia (21 January 1812).
The sencilla of the 2nd Battalion was continued in use throughout the War of Independence and was retired in 1844.
Placed on the Napoleon Series: April 2002
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