Austrian Ordinärfahne Standards

These examples of ordinärfahne ("ordinary" or regimental colours) have been preserved in the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum in Vienna. Before 1808, all battalions carried two standards, the first (Leib) battalion carrying a leibfahne and an ordinärfahne, the other two battalions carrying two ordinärfahne. After this date the number of flags per battalion was reduced to one - a leibfahne for the first battalion, ordinärfahne for the others. Grenadier battalions carried a single ordinärfahne, usually a spare one from the depot of the senior contributing unit.

The Jäger battalions never carried flags and the Landwehr seem to have had spare ordinärfahne, aside from the ones issued in Inner Austria. The Grenzers seem to have used the usual system, exept that after 1807, all battalions carried one ordinärfahne.

Cavalry regiments were issued an ordinärstandarte of similar design for each division (i.e. two squadrons) but the first. Light cavalry regiments did not always carry these standards in the field.

As can be seen below, the heraldic design borne on the eagles breast was changed in 1804 and again in 1806. However regiments continued to carry "old" flags in the field until they wore out. This combined with the hand-painted, hand copied nature of the flags of this period to produce some variation in the colours borne by Austrian regiments.

Ordinärfahne, 1792 Pattern

Austrian Ordinärfahne, 1792 Pattern

Ordinärfahne, 1804 Pattern

Austrian Ordinärfahne, 1804 Pattern

This pattern was issued under a patent of 11th August 1804, but the production order only went through on 28th March 1805. It cannot be established how many were actually made. However, it appears that only a couple were made - one of which is pictured above. Two new flags were presented to IR4 Deutschmeister in June 1806 before the 1806 pattern was decreed, although one of these was probably a new Leibfahne to replace the one lost in 1805. IR4 were the regiment based in Vienna, so they may have got a yellow 1804 pattern, but it doesn't appear that any others were issued.

Ordinärfahne, 1806 Pattern

Austrian Ordinärfahne, 1806 Pattern

I am indebted to Dave Hollins for providing much of the information on this page.

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