A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colors which is usually worn on a hat.
In the 18th century, a cockade was pinned on the side of a man's tricorne or cocked hat, or on his lapel. Women could also wear it on their hat or in their hair. A cockade uses distinctive colors to show the allegiance of its wearer to some political faction, their rank, or as part of a servant's livery. In pre-revolutionary France, the cockade of the Bourbon dynasty was all white. In the Kingdom of Great Britain a white cockade was worn by those supporting the restoration of a Jacobite monarchy, while in contrast the established Hanoverian monarchy they were trying to overthrow had one that was all black. But elsewhere and at other times there was more variety.
During the 1780 Gordon Riots in London the blue cockade became a symbol of anti-government feelings and was worn by most of the rioters.
As the Continental Army has unfortunately no uniforms, and consequently many inconveniences must arise from not being able to distinguish the commissioned officers from the privates, it is desired that some badge of distinction be immediately provided; for instance that the field officers may have red or pink colored cockades in their hats, the captains yellow or buff, and the subalterns green.
Before long however, the Continental Army reverted to wearing the black cockade they inherited from the British. Later, when France became an ally of the United States, the Continental Army pinned the white cockade of the French Ancien Régime onto their old black cockade; the French reciprocally pinned the black cockade onto their white cockade, as a mark of the French-American alliance. The black-and-white cockade thus became known as the "Union Cockade".
Cockades were later widely worn by revolutionaries and proponents of various political factions in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. Just as they did in the United States a few years before, the French now pinned the blue-and-red cockade of Paris onto the white cockade of the Ancien Régime - thus producing the original Tricolore cockade. Later, distinctive colours and styles of cockade would indicate the wearer's faction—although the meanings of the various styles were not entirely consistent, and varied somewhat by region and period.
Cockades of the Confederate States
Echoing their use when Americans rebelled against Britain, cockades – usually made with blue ribbons and worn on clothing or hats – were widespread tokens of southern support for secession preceding the American Civil War of 1861–1865.
Cockades of the European military
From the 15th century various European monarchy realms used cockades to denote the nationalities of their military. Their origin reverts to the distinctive colored band or ribbon worn by late medieval armies or jousting knights on their arms or headgear to distinguish friend from foe in the field of battle. Ribbon-style cockades were worn later on helmets and brimmed hats or tricornes and bicornes just as the French did, and also on cocked hats and shakoes; metal cockades were worn at the right side of helmets; small button-type cockades were worn at the front of kepis and peaked caps.
In particular, the German Empire used two cockades on each army headgear: one (black-white-red) for the empire; the other for the individual German provinces and kingdoms, which had used their own colors long before. The Weimar Republic removed these, as they might promote factionalism which would lead to the dissolution of Germany into petty principalities again. In the Second World War, the imperial or Kaiserliche colors of black on the outside, then white, and red on the inside were used on all army caps.
France began the first Air Service in 1909 and soon picked the traditional French cockade as the first national emblem, now usually termed a roundel, on military aircraft. During World War I, other countries adopted national cockades and used these coloured emblems as roundels on their military aircraft. These designs often bear an additional central device or emblem to further identify national aircraft, those from the French navy bearing a black anchor within the French cockade.
Metal cockades continue to be worn by the armed forces of Germany and Russia.
A list of national cockades
The following is an incomplete list of traditional cockades used by various nations; the colours are listed from the inside out (i.e. left to right). If the air force roundel resembles a cockade but differs from the traditional cockade, the roundel is also specified.
- Albania - red-black-red
- Argentina - light blue-white-light blue
- Armenia - orange-blue-red
- Austria - red-white-red
- (until 1918: black-gold)
- (Austrian Air Force roundel: white-red, with the white in the form of a triangle)
- Belgium - black-yellow-red
- Bolivia - green-yellow-red
- Bulgaria - red-green-white
- (Bulgarian Air Force roundel: white-green-red)
- Brazil - blue-yellow-green (used as a roundel by aircraft of the Brazilian Navy)
- Chile -
- Colombia - red-blue-yellow
- Denmark - red-white-red
- (Royal Danish Air Force roundel: white-red)
- Ecuador - red-blue-yellow
- Egypt -
- in Kingdom of Egypt until 1953 - green-white-green
- after 1953 - black-white-red
- Estonia - white-black-blue
- Finland - white-blue-white
- France - blue-white-red
- Gabon - green-yellow-blue
- Germany - black-red-gold
- (1871-1945: red-white-black)
- (German Confederation 1848-1871: gold-red-black)
- Ghana - green-yellow-red
- Greece - blue-white
- (Hellenic Air Force roundel: blue-white-blue)
- Hungary - red-white-green
- this reflects the Hungarian flag, and is always referred to as such, but traditionally (although many know it to be technically incorrect) it is made with the red colour outside;
- the airforce roundel -- which is really a triangle -- has also the red colour outside
- Iceland - blue-white-red-white-blue
- India - green-white-orange
- Iran - red-white-green
- Ireland - green-white-orange
- (until 1922: green or sky blue)
- Italy - green-white-red
- Japan - red with white edge (the Hinomaru, worn as a cockade by civilian officials before World War II)
- Kenya - green-white-red-white-black
- Latvia - dark red-white-dark red
- Lithuania - red-green-yellow
- Mexico - green-white-red
- Monaco - red-white
- Netherlands - orange
- Nigeria - green-white-green
- Norway - red-white-blue-white
- Pakistan - White-green-yellow
- Paraguay - blue-white-red
- Peru - red-white-red
- Poland - white-red (but other colours were also used)
- Portugal - green-red
- (from 1820 to 1910: blue-white)
- (until 1820: blue-red)
- Romania - blue-yellow-red
- Russia -
- San Marino - white-blue
- Serbia - red-blue-white
- Sierra Leone - blue-white-green
- Slovenia - red-blue-white
- Spain - red-yellow-red
- civil - blue-yellow
- military - yellow
- during 20th century enlisted men wore a national mark with yellow-blue-yellow, but that was strictly speaking not a cockade.
- Thailand - red-white-blue-white-red
- Turkey - red-white-red
- Ukraine - blue-yellow
- United Kingdom -
- United States - (white-blue-red, widely used on A.E.F. aircraft 1917-18. Also, blue with a gold eagle reportedly used late 19th century)
- Venezuela - red-blue-yellow
- Yugoslavia - blue-white-red
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|