Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Symbol of the Government of Canada

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The Guidon of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

Guindon

Quick Facts

  • The term "Guidon" comes from an old French word "guyd'homme", meaning the flag carried by a cavalry leader.
  • Regimental flags of infantry are known as ‘colours’, while flags of cavalry, including the RCMP’s, are called ‘Guidons’.
  • The first RCMP Guidon was presented to the RCMP by His Excellency, the Earl of Bessborough, Governor General of Canada .

Overview

The Guidon of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police serves as a unique tradition for the Force and follows the regimental tradition of cavalry regiments deriving from the British Army.

The first RCMP Guidon was consecrated in 1935. It was retired in 1973 when a new Guidon was consecrated at Regina, Saskatchewan on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the RCMP by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Honourary Commissioner of our Force.

Transportation and Escort

During transport, the Guidon must be safely stored in a briefcase and personally escorted by a Regular Member.

The Guidon Party is a small unit which carries the Guidon on parade and consists of a Guidon bearer, (S/M); armed Guidon Escorts, (Sgt.); and a Guidon Orderly, (Cpl.). The senior Armed Guidon Escort is positioned to the right of the Guidon Bearer.

Escort to the Guidon is a large, armed formation under the command of an officer and separate from the Guidon Party.

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; and
  • at other mounted/dismounted ceremonial parades as approved by the Commissioner.

The new Guidon

The left hand corner of the Guidon bears the Royal Cypher with the initials (RCMP) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and its predecessor organizations— the (NWMP) North-West Mounted Police and the (RNWMP) Royal Northwest Mounted Police—are on the other corners. In the centre of the Guidon is the current badge of the RCMP.

Placed on either side of and below the badge are the honours for the five theatres of military operations in which Mounted Police 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 on display at the RCMP Chapel, "Depot" Division. The new Guidon is displayed at RCMP National Headquarters in Ottawa.