Guidon

  • Guidon

Quick facts

  • The term "guidon" comes from an old French word, "guy-d'homme", which refers to the flag carried by a cavalry leader.
  • Regimental flags of infantry are known as colours. The RCMP follows the traditions of light cavalry, whose flags are called guidons.
  • The first RCMP guidon was presented to the RCMP by His Excellency, the Earl of Bessborough, Governor General of Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan, in April 1935.

Overview

The RCMP's guidon is its regimental colour and is based on the tradition of British Army light cavalry regiments.

The first RCMP guidon was consecrated in 1935. It was retired in 1973, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Commissioner in Chief of the RCMP, consecrated the second guidon in Regina, Saskatchewan on the occasion of our 100th anniversary.

Transportation and escort

The Guidon Party is a small unit, consisting of a bearer, armed escorts and an orderly, that carries the guidon on parade. Following tradition and decree by His Majesty King George IV in 1822, the bearer is always a warrant officer.

During transport, the guidon must be safely stored and personally escorted by a warrant officer of the RCMP.

Parade

The guidon is always paraded by itself or with other military colours only. It may not be paraded with other flags or ensigns.

The guidon may be paraded:

  • on the Sovereign's birthday
  • at the funeral of a dignitary entitled to a 100-member guard of honour
  • at a change of command ceremony for a new commissioner
  • at a ceremonial commissioner's inspection parade
  • at an RCMP memorial church service and parade honouring members who have died in the line of duty
  • at other mounted/dismounted ceremonial parades as approved by the Commissioner

Features

The guidon features the RCMP's regimental badge, the Queen's cipher and the historical monograms of the RCMP:

  • NWMP (North-West Mounted Police)
  • RNWMP (Royal Northwest Mounted Police)
  • RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police)

The guidon also bears the RCMP's Honours for five theatres of military operations in which members served and lost lives:

  • North West Canada 1885
  • South Africa 1900-2
  • France & Flanders 1918
  • Siberia 1918-19
  • Europe 1939-45

The original guidon is displayed in the RCMP Chapel in Regina, Saskatchewan, while the current one is displayed at the RCMP's National Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

The guidon embodies the honour and sacrifice made of all members of the RCMP, and is treated with extreme reverence. It is paid compliments (i.e. saluted) by all who enter its presence, or when it passes by on a parade. The only exception is when it is paraded at a funeral, where compliments are reserved for the deceased.

Date modified: