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Flags for components of the Indian Army

Last modified: 2013-04-14 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | military | army |
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Army Ordnance Corps

[Army Ordnance Corps] image by Joe McMillan

Horizontal stripes of navy blue, maroon, and Saxe blue (very light blue). The IAOC also carries a corps colour, which is scarlet with the corps badge surrounded by a lotus and ashoka wreath. The colour was granted in 1970..
Source: army website
Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


Corps of EME

[Corps of EME] image by Ivan Sache, 26 August 2001

The Corps of EME was created in 1943 and its role is 'achieve and maintain the operational fitness of electrical, mechanical, electronic and optical equipment of the Army'. Official meaning of the colours is: Oxford blue, devotion to duty; Golden yellow, magnanimity and intellect; Scarlet, aggressiveness valour and sacrifice. The flag is apparently 5:8, vertically divided blue-yellow-red-yellow-blue (30:15:10:15:30)
Source: army website
Ivan Sache, 26 August 2001

The IEME also carry a corps colour, granted in 1964, that is yellow with the corps badge on a blue disk surrounded by a lotus and ashoka wreath.
Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


Regiment of Artillery

[Regiment of Artillery] image by Ivan Sache, 26 August 2001

A 2:3 rectangular flag, horizontally divided red-Navy blue. Red and blue represent the flash and the smoke of the gun according to gunners' folklore. In fact, red has been common to all combat arms (infantry, armour and artillery). The blue was taken from the ribbon of the 'Star of India' which had been incorporated in the artillery crest. The original colour was light blue but since a similar colour was adopted by the Corps of Signals, it was changed to Navy blue to avoid confusion.
Source: army website
Ivan Sache, 26 August 2001

According to the website and Das (1981), the flag is red over blue with the corps badge (a field gun) in gold.  The illustration here lacks the badge.
Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


Indian Army Service Corps

[Indian Army Service Corps] image by Joe McMillan

Horizontal stripes of black, white and yellow.
Source: army website
Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


14th Corps

[Indian Army 14th Corps] image located by Corentin Chamboredon, 23 March 2013

The flag is a vertical triband (red / white / red), with three yellow five-pointed stars on the flying side. There are some devices in the white strip. Other photographs allowed me to see two crossed flaming arrows (and perhaps a bow) and what seems to be a green kirpan (sikh sword) in the middle.

This flag is hoisted in Khardung La Pass, Ladakh. Several images are posted at:

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/shantanoo/2586549356
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/shantanoo/2588790766
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/sanjoy/177098786
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/t3rmin4t0r/191778642/
  • http://www.superstock.co.uk/stock-photos-images/3153-746656
  • Corentin Chamboredon, 23 March 2013


    3rd Infantry

    [Indian Army 3rd infantry] image located by Corentin Chamboredon, 23 March 2013

    The flag is red with a yellow five-pointed star in the middle of the fly side, and a central emblem consisting in a black shield with white mountains from where a golden trident arises.

    This flag is hoisted in Khardung La Pass, Ladakh. Several images are posted at:

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/shantanoo/2586549356
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/shantanoo/2588790766
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/sanjoy/177098786
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/t3rmin4t0r/191778642/
  • http://www.superstock.co.uk/stock-photos-images/3153-746656


  • The IIIrd infantry division is itself part of the XIVth corps of the Indian army, as shown there (see the third link for a more detailed view of the XIVth corps' badge):
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/india/14-corps.htm
    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/india/3-div.htm
    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Heraldry/Patches/25-Corps-Badges.html

    Corentin Chamboredon, 23 March 2013


    3rd Cavalry Regiment

    [3rd Cavalry Regiment] image by Joe McMillan

    Horizontal tricolor, gray-yellow-green.
    Source: army website
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Lancer Regiments

    Blue with the regimental badge on the center.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Scinde Horse

    Divided upper hoist to lower fly, light green over red over dark green, with the regimental badge in black on the center.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Corps of Engineers

    [Corps of Engineers] image by Joe McMillan

    Horizontal stripes of red and black with the corps badge on the center in white.
    Source: army website
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Brigade of Guards

    [Brigade of Guards] image byJoe McMillan, 8 February 2003

    Horizontal triband, red-yellow-red, with the brigade badge in red on the center
    Source: army website
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003

    It is a camp flag. Indian regimental colors are similar to British ones (even down to the same measurements), with a solid field in the facing color and a badge on the center ensigned with the three-lion badge of Ashoka (the national "arms"), and surrounded by a wreath of lotus blossoms and scrolls bearing battle honors.
    Joe McMillan, 29 November 2005

    See also: Brigade of Guards website providing [unofficial] information and an illustration of the flag with the eagle in black.
    Valentin Poposki, 29 November 2005

    My image was based on the official Indian Army website, which shows the eagle on the flag outlined in red. Bharat Rakshak, while an excellent resource on the Indian military, is not an official site. I suspect they simply took the black outlined badge at the top of the page and placed it unchanged on the triband flag. This is a camp flag. Indian regimental colors are similar to British ones (even down to the same measurements), with a solid field in the facing color and a badge on the
    center ensigned with the three-lion badge of Ashoka (the national "arms"), and surrounded by a wreath of lotus blossoms and scrolls bearing battle honors.
    Joe McMillan, 29 November 2005


    Parachute Regiment

    Red with the regimental badge in black.
    Source: army website
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Punjab Regiment

    [Punjab Regiment] image by Joe McMillan

    Green with the regimental badge (the ship badge of the pre-Independence 2nd Punjab Regiment) in white.
    Source: army website
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Madras Regiment

    Vertical tricolor green-red-green with the red stripe fimbriated yellow, and the regimental badge on the center in black.
    Source: army website
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    The Grenadiers (formerly Bombay Grenadiers)

    Vertical tricolor black-white-gray, with the regimental badge on the center in black.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Jat Regiment

    Green bordered blue with a saffron panel on the center charged with the regimental badge in black.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Kumaon Regiment (formerly 19th Hyderabad Regiment)

    Here is a sample regimental colour (Kumaon Regiment, formerly 19th Hyderabad Regiment) at http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/LAND-FORCES/Army/Regiments/Kumaon2.jpg. Note that half of the bettle honour scrolls are blank. I suspect these are not-so-subtle place holders for British-era battle honours that the post-1947 Indian government deemed "repugnant" because they were for Indians fighting Indians. These battle honours are not allowed to be displayed, but regiments still unofficially observe them. Blank scrolls would be one way of saying "we used to have more battle honours".
    T. F. Mills, 29 November 2005


    Rajputana Rifles

    Green with the regimental badge in black.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Garwhal Rifles

    [Garwhal Rifles] image by Joe McMillan

    Horizontal triband, black-saffron-black, with the Maltese cross from the regimental badge on the center in black.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Gurkha Rifles battalions

    Dark green with the battalion badge in saffron.
    Joe McMillan, 8 February 2003


    Army Medical Corps

    [Army Medical Corps] image by Ivan Sache, 26 August 2001

    A 2:3 rectangular flag, horizontally divided dull cherry-black-old gold (11:2:11). The colours were adopted by the Indian Army Medical Corps in 1944, as representative of the three amalgamated components. In 1953, the colours were retained as flag colours. The flags should be made of bunting cloth. Colour flag is 2' x 3' with flag mast 15' high; flag is 4' x 6' with flag mast 20' high or more. Dull cherry was the colour of the Royal Army Medical Corps and is the colour of Medical Services of many other countries. It is associated with positive health, succor, and freedom from disease. Black was the colour of Indian Hospital Corps. It is associated with formless state of creating birth and death. Old Gold was tyhe colour of Indian Medical Services, which existed before 1943. It is the symbol of Sun God Aesculapius, the God of Medicine.
    Source: army website
    Ivan Sache, 26 August 2001


    Northern Command

    [Northern Command] image by Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    A horizontally divided red-black-red flag with a yellow emblem in the middle. The shield version of the flag was painted on the front hood of the trucks which blocked us for more than one hour.
    Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    This is Northern Command, one of five of the highest geographical divisions of the Indian Army. All use the horizontal red-black-red with a yellow device. The yellow arrow here is obviously the compass needle pointing north.
    T. F. Mills, 25 August 2001


    Other flags seen at Army Bases

    Strangely, the Indian national flag seems not to be used in military basis. I saw it only in schoolyards of government schools. Below are described some of the flags I have been able to see properly from the bus. Identification of the units was in most cases not possible for the reasons given above.
    Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    What you have sent are "formation" and "arm of service" signs, used chiefly for vehicle recognition, and designed in way that is not meant to be intuitive to the casual observer. I am not really acquainted with Indian colour schemes, so the rest is just speculation. I believe most Indian schemes are still derived from the British. T. F. Mills, 25 August 2001

    257th Transit Camp

    [Flag at 257th Transit Camp] image by Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    A horizontally divided red-yellow flag. The flag was also painted as a swallow-tailed flag on road signals, but I do not know the difference of meaning, if any, between the rectangular and the swallow-tailed flags. The flag I saw flying in the barracks yard was definitively rectangular.
    Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    Vehicles in Basgo

    [Flag on vehicles in Basgo] image by Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    A horizontally divided dark green-red-light blue-red-dark green flag. Basgo is a strategic place located between the two highest passes of the Leh-Kargil road. It was once the capital of one of the small kingdoms which fought against each other for the control of Ladakh.
    Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    Possibly the Air Defence Artillery?
    T. F. Mills, 25 August 2001

    Unit in Kargil

    [Flag at a base in Kargil] image by Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    A horizontally divided yellow-dark green-white-dark green-yellow (1:2:1:2:1) flag. Kargil is a military hot spot and was about to be seized during the last winter attack by Pakistan. It is really not the place where to ask questions about Army, so I cannot say more about the flag I saw there.
    Ivan Sache, 25 August 2001

    Yellow and green is probably arm of service (what, I don't know), and the white stripe is probably an obscure code signifying that this particular unit belongs to a unit bigger than a division.
    T. F. Mills, 25 August 2001

    Headquarters 9 Corps

    According to the Press Information Bureau of the Indian Army, Headquarters 9 Corps (HQ 9 Corps), Indian Army's newest & youngest Corps formally became operational on 1 September 2005 in Himachal Pradesh. Based at Yol Cantt, near Dharamsala, the Rising Star formation, as it is informally named, is headed by Lt Gen Anup Singh Jamwal who has successfully commanded 4 Corps in the North East prior to this assignment. Having been raised within a short span of four months, HQ 9 Corps is responsible for large areas. The brief ceremony of Assumption of Command held at Yol Cantt was attended by all formation Commanders and Staff Officers of Headquarters 9 Corps, and began with unfurling of the 9 pointed Rising Star flag.
    Ivan Sache, 2 September 2005