A short comment on the list:
From 1788 to 1808 several units were transformed, split, merged or disbanded
so it's difficult to present a proper list where everything is simple and
crystal clear. I have based the list on the 1788 structure and made comments on
Colours and Standards
Colours was used buy infantry units while standards was normally used by
cavalry. However later into the period some dismounted units maintained their
standards. Light units such as jaegers or hussars possessed none. In most
cases the two sides of the infantry colours was identical. They measured 3 x 2
1/4 aln (1,8 x 1,3 m).
cavalry standard was 3½ quarters, 44,5 cm in square (one quarter is 1/4 of an
aln). The guidons used by the dragoons had the size of the standards but was
extended by two tongues as well.
ell, is the
from the elbow to the tip of the little finger. 1 aln = 59,4 cm)
top of this each unit carried two different colours or standards, the life
colour/standard and the company colour/standard.
The life colour/standard was issued to the first company, also known
as the life company of each regiment. The colours/standards was basically of
the same design for all units in the army. It was all white and had the
Swedish great coat of arms painted in the centre. In the upper inner corner,
each allotted regiment carried their provincial symbol. Later when the colours
was embroidered, the size of the coat of arm was reduced, but at the same time
the provincial symbol was embroidered as the proper coat of arm. The enlisted
units had colours of the same design but instead of the provincial coat of
arms they had a royal crown or the kings monogram in each of the four corners.
sample life colours are not drawn from any real colours, they are merely there
to demonstrate the principal design.
Generic model for enlisted units
The Smålands regiment
The Kalmar regiment
(Please note that the Swedish Great Coat
of Arms that is shown on these samples are the modern version, not the one
used in late 18 century. I have used it just to show the general principle)
Company colours/standards was issued to all the other companies of the
regiment. The basic design was made in 1686 but as time passed the design was
refined and adjusted to to the current fashion. The colours used by the
infantry that I present on my pages is generally known as model 1686B
(m/1686B). The difference is that the motif is now embroidered and in a
smaller size in order to cut the costs. From now on the motif only covered 1/3
of the height of the colour. In the 1760's a new design was introduced. The
colour maintained the the over all design as colours and motif, but from now
on the green laurel wreath was replaced by a golden ornament. The design of
the ornament varied a bit, but for simplicity I have used the one called type
2b for all colours.
allotted cavalry had their provincial emblem on the left (or inner side). On
the other side they carried the the embroidered monogram of the king that had
presented them with the standard.
cut the costs, a decision was taken in 1731 that each regiment was to be
issued with only four colours (one life- and three company colours) Ten years
later an order was given that no regiment was allowed to field more then four
colour, despite the fact that several did units posses up to eight. For some
reason, these rules did not apply to the cavalry.
1819 a completely new the system of colours, standards and guidons was
Do you want to download my colours?
I can save you the time you have to spend
copying and resizing each and every one of the pictures below. For
10,00 SEK ( roughly 0,93 EUR or 1,35 USD) I will send you a
Power-point file with 77 different colours covering all regular Swedish army
units from 1788-1819 and most units for the SYW as well. The colours in the
PPT-file are 30 mm high but as the file isn't write-protected you can resize
each of them to fit your particular scale. Or, if you are into "Imagi-nations",
why not reshape, redraw, change the colouring to fit your Uberwald landtwehr
battalion or the Newly raised Light Guard of Princess Samantha? Do what ever
you like as long as you don't distribute the file, ok?
Fine. Send an e-mail to
stating that you want the PPT-file with my colours and that you want me to
bill you through PayPal. Due to bad experiences all payment has to be in
advance but I hope that is ok.
For the 1788-90 war uniforms (model/1779) there are some good references
available on how the uniforms was designed and what colours they were.
This is not the case when we go into the 1808-09 war. We have a good idea on
the design of the model/1802 but that one was to be replaced with the new
model/1806, which was changed in 1807.... Since the army was short on basically
everything, we can assume that the general uniform used during the war was the
model/1802. Some of the late arrivals from the western part of the kingdom might
have been issued uniforms but for the moment I have no info on that.
In both wars the Swedish army raised a large numbers of reserve units such as
the "Vargering", "Lantvärn" or various more or less voluntary "Freicorps". It is
not likely that these units could be issued uniforms in accordance to
the royal letters on the matter. My guess is that the units showed up in a mix of newer and
older uniforms but also to a very large extent in their old civilian cloth.
If you are looking for info regarding the Swedish expeditionary army that
Bernadotte commanded in northern Germany in 1813, you should be aware of a few
things. The colours I have presented here are still applicable but the uniforms
had undergone a big change both in style and in colours.
With that in mind, please enjoy what I have posted here and feel free to draw
your own conclusions and to make
All drawings are based on the information in "Between the Imperial Eagles"
and the drawings by C.G Roos. All drawings on this page are copyright to Lars