This is coolbert:
The Napoleonic Era.
Yet once more from John Keegan: "The Face of Battle":
"A contributor to the New Statesman, writing in October 1973, affected to believe that 'all the stories of deeds of heroism in defence of military colours can only have been so much myth-making.'"
So much myth making??
THE MOST DANGEROUS PLACE ON THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE BLACK-POWDER ERA WAS THE DETAIL WITH THE DUTY OF GUARDING THE COLORS.
"Those [the colors] . . . were carried by the two most junior officers of the battalion, each escorted by two senior sergeants, and these posts were the most dangerous which could be held in action.”
At Waterloo, astounding feats of heroism were recorded in defense of colors:
”Sergeant Lawrence of the 40th [British unit], ordered to the colours at four in the afternoon [at Waterloo], recalled his reluctance: 'This . . . was a job I did not at all like; but I still I went as boldly to work as I could. There had been before me that day fourteen sergeants already killed and wounded while in charge of these colours, with officers in proportion and the staff and colours were almost cut to pieces.'"
"Ensign Christie of the 44th [British unit] was charged by a Frenchman whose lance 'entering the left eye, penetrated to the lower jaw . . . Christie . . . flung himself upon the (the colour] . . . and fell to the ground on top of it."
"Volunteer Clarke, carrying the new Regiment Colour of the 69th [British unit] . . . received twenty-two saber wounds, but hung on to the colour and killed three French cavalrymen with his own sword . . . Clarke was only sixteen [years of age]" [!!!]
At Waterloo and other battles of the Napoleonic era, the French also displayed great courage and heroism both in defense of their own colors and in attempts to capture enemy colors. THE FRENCH WERE SECOND TO NO ONE IN THIS REGARD!!
"the many accounts [at Waterloo] of extraordinary heroism displayed in defence of, or attempts to capture, colours. Several Frenchmen virtually committed suicide in hopeless and quite unnecessary efforts to carry British infantry colours back to their lines."
"Frenchman Aristide-Aubert Dupetit Thouars, captain of the Tonnant, during the Battle of the Nile. Thouars had his right arm shot away, then the left and finally one of his legs was taken off by a cannonball . . . One of his final orders was to nail the Tricolour to the mast so it could not be taken down in surrender."
With Paris threatened in 1814, the French even took the most desperate measures to destroy enemy colors in their possession. Kept as prizes and trophies of war and museum pieces. What can only be described as A MASS of colors captured in battle over a span of HUNDREDS OF YEARS!!
"As Allied forces closed in on Paris in late March 1814, Marshal Jean Serurier, governor of Les Invalides, oversaw the mass burning of battle flags taken from enemy units over hundreds of years. Some 1500 of the battle trophies were burned."
C'est le guerre dude!!