Rogatywka

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Rogatywka of the mechanized troops
Rogatywka with Polish coat of arms and pułkownik (colonel) rank insignia

Rogatywka (Polish pronunciation: [rɔɡaˈtɨfka]; sometimes translated as peaked cap) is the Polish generic name for an asymmetrical, peaked, four-pointed cap used by various Polish military formations throughout the ages. It is a distant relative of its 18th-century predecessor, konfederatka (because of use by members of the Bar Confederation), although similar caps have been used by light cavalry since the 14th century. It consists of a four-pointed top and a short peak, usually made of black or brown leather. Although rogatywka (derived from róg which means horn or corner) in English seems to mean the same as czapka, the word 'czapka' in Polish designates not only rogatywka, but all caps (not hats).

Usage[edit]

It usually comes in two variants: the hardened and soft version. The hardened model, based on the rogatywka Mk. 1935, olive green with black peak, is used in full gala uniforms, while the rim colour marks unit type (for example, navy blue - typical, crimson - military police, green - artillery, and so on). It was not worn during most of the People's Republic of Poland era but was reintroduced for ceremonial wear by the Honour Guard Company in 1989. The soft version was used before World War II and during the People's Republic of Poland period for garrison dress; it was withdrawn after 1990.

Polish soldiers, unlike in most militaries, decorate caps not with the emblem of their corps, but with their service's version of the Polish military eagle. The military eagle insignia is based on an early 19th century design, comprising a modified White Eagle (from the Polish coat of arms) perched atop an 'amazon shield'.

Army branches are indicated by the following colored cap bands:

  • navy blue – generals, mechanized troops, legal corps, logistics corps, National Honour Guard
  • orange – units dedicated to honour historical armoured troops, scouts
  • dark green – rocket forces, artillery, anti-aircraft units
  • black – engineering units, chemical corps, cartographic service, technical cadets
  • cornflower – adjutant general corps, radio and communication corps
  • cherry – medical service, medical cadets
  • scarlet – military police
  • violet – chaplains
  • yellow – headquarters of 1st Warsaw Mechanized Division, 1st Warsaw Armoured Division

Others[edit]

Rogatywka is used by Polish firefighters (hardened, all navy blue) and Polish State Railways staff (soft, navy blue or red).

Green rogatywka with brown leather peak and scout Fleur-de-lis symbol, is traditionally worn by Polish boy scouts, grey is sometimes used by girl guides.

References[edit]