British King's Colour, 96th Regiment of Foot by Unknown Maker
Silk and metallic embroidery threads on finely ribbed silk (fiber identification by eye)
Acc. No. 2010-75
This is a rectangular flag of ribbed silk, sewn together from twelve white, eight blue, and three red pieces to form a Union Flag. The center of the flag is embroidered in polychrome silk and metallic threads in the center with a Union wreath of roses and thistles enclosing a cartouche with the inscription, "REGT/XCVI." A 2 1/4" hoist tube of crimson silk is on the left side. The corners are fragile; one has been repaired with later silk.
Construction notes: The embroidered center section (with the words) consists of two layers of silk, making the flag totally reversible. The embroidery stitches consist of couching, encroaching satin, laid, satin, and straight. The remainder of the flag consists of single-layer silks seamed together by hand using flat fell seams about 1/4 inch wide. The outer edges are turned under and hemmed by hand with hems about 1/4 inches wide.
Label:This King's Colour was one of two used by the 96th Regiment of Foot in the four years of its existence from 1761 to 1765. The other Colour would have been the Regimental Colour. Formed in India early in 1761, command of the 96th was given to The Hon. George Monson (1730-76), third son of 1st Baron Monson, who had distinguished himself at the siege and capture of Pondicherry in 1760. As part of the Seven Years War (or the French and Indian War, as it was known in America), the 96th Regiment saw action in Bombay, Madras, Tellicherry, and Manila in the Philippines. From August to December of 1763, the 96th besieged the province of Madura. The small patched holes in this Colour are evidence of the hard service both on and off the battlefield that it saw. Monson sailed home in May 1764, and it's likely that he brought this Colour home with him. By 1765 the regiment had been disbanded.
King's Colours of exactly the same design, made by the same contractors, were carried by British regiments in America during the French and Indian War.
Provenance:The flag descended in the family of the Hon. George Monson (1730-1776) until it was sold at auction in 2010 by order of the trustees of the 10th Baron Monson.