The last fifteen years have seen the swedish defence forces and the army in particular decimeted
until a it is quantitatively a mere shadow of what it was. Before all is gone
and no one remembers what once existed the following page will try to keep the
memory of traditions and excellence alive.
The basis of the
information are the units in existance when the conscriptsystem was introduced
almost 100 years ago. Since then may changes have been made. Many of the old
units of the great power era and the following 200 years are thus not included.
These were often mercenary units and have had no successor. Their banners are at
the army museum and they are outside the scope of this work.
on each unit follows the same guidelines listed below.
The history of the regiment is only told very briefly.
The organisational ties with older units is clarified, in some cases some minor
simplifications have been made. The wartime achievements is not the subject of
this work and is mentioned briefly if at all.
Banners, standards and other symbols have been used
since the medieval times and have great significanse in Sweden as in other
countries. Today only used in ceremonys they still represent the spirit and elan
of the unit. The colour is often embroided with victory names especially in the
case of infantry units. The infantry units color is a banner of the dimensions
140 cm height and 160 cm length. Earlier the dimensions were 120x150 cm. In the
late medieval era the pattern on the banner was most often one with various
geometrical shapes in different colors. Different slogans ,often in latin, were
added to the banner. This habit started to fall in disuse around 1620 and in
1686 the new regulations for colours regulated the embroidment to be of the
countryparts heraldic symbol where the unit was raised and the banner of every
company as well as the regimental one to have the colours of that countrypart as
well. A clear connection to the local tradition and the importance of this
can not be overestimated over the centuries. Even today politicians vote for disarmament and the local population go half insane in rage if "their"
regiment is to be disbanded. The guard company of every regiment had a white
banner with the royal emblem instead with a small coutrypart emblem in the
corner as well as the life guard regiments where all banners were white and with
the royal emblem. Every regiment contained eight companies divided in to two
battalions. In 1731 the number of banners was reduced to two per battalion The
cavalrys standards are smaller and square with the exception of dragoon units
that have split standards. The lifeguards on horse had white standards with the
Carl XIV Johan (Bernadotte) introduced a new (french)
colour tradition where all colours were the national flag with the royal emblem in
the middle and with bands in the swedish colours. Only one banner per battalion
was allowed. His son Oscar I reintroduced in 1844 the local colors but
kept the bands and ordered the banners to be emboided with the voctorynames of
each regiment. Oscar II reintroduced the national colours for the banners in 1877
but kept the local heraldic symbol.
The present regulations stipulate the banners to be in
the local colours with the local heraldic symbol but with the bands in the
national colors. Since colors are not exchanged until worn out the regiments of
today use a mix of the different regulation depending on the age of their banner.
Only one colour per unit is allowed today with several regiments using unofficial
colors for their companies.
The use of victory names started in 1844 and the
present regulation of 1950 stipulates that the qualifications for using a
victory name on a color are:
His/her majesty decides wether to allow or not in
every single case
Only names on battles that have had importance for
Sweden, its historical development, or from the operative view, for the
fought campaign are to be allowed. The battle must have been an undsiputed
Names of other battles won from a tactical viewpoint
where the unit has fought with extreme distinction and ability may be
Names of campaigns of importance to Sweden where the
unit has distincyioned itself may be allowed.
Infantry and armor regiments use the local heraldic
symbol combined with the heraldic symbol of their branch while the artillery and
anti aircraft artillery units use the symbol of the branch combined with a
smaller local heraldic symbol. Other branches use the branch symbol and a local
Except on banners these symbols were little used until
the dailly dress m/60 was introduced when the heraldic sign started to be worn
on the uniforms. Units disbanded before the introduction of that uniform lacks
the m/60 version of the heraldic sign and thus it can not be displayed.
Many, but far from all, units use a device.
Many, but not all, units have a special rembrance day
that is honored every year.
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