Need for definition
This article is missing the point. The author is confused between the hackle plume, which is a confection of cut hackle feathers, traditionally taken from the neck of the cock vulture, and a feather, or feathers, pure and simple- for instance, the cock feathers in now worn by the Royal Regiment of Scotland in their No. 1 Dress Glengarry. That distinction should be made clear with the appropriate definition.
References to eagle feathers and blackcock feathers (note spelling, for what it's worth) should therefore be excised as these are, plainly, not hackles, but whole feathers.
In addition, the section on Scots Regiments should come before Fusiliers as the term was applied earliest to the distinction worn in the bonnets of Highland regiments- specifically the Black Watch ca 1860-70, at which time it was still called a 'heckle'. I believe the Fusiliers didnt start referring to their cap distinctions as 'hackles' till much later.
Initially, Highland troops had worn sprays of black ostrich feathers at the side of their cocked uniform bonnets, a fashion that became popular during the American War of Independence. Gradually, between 1776 and 1800 feathers of other colours were added to the black feathers as company and regimental distinctions.
The 'feather', as it was first known, that came to be worn at the side of the Full Dress Highland ostrich feather bonnet in the C19th was essentially no different from the cylindrical 'plumes' that began to appear elsewhere in European armies at that time.
It was with the wearing of smaller tufts of red feathers by the Black Watch in the pagri of their foreign service helmet on service in West Africa, 1874, that the hackle as we recognise it today first appeared. The larger feather, or hackle, meanwhile, continued to be worn in Full Dress Highland bonnets into the 20th century and beyond.
The term came into broader use with the adoption by other regiments post-1900 of the shorter hackle plumes- or similar distinctions- worn in Foreign Service Helmets and subsequently in ToS bonnets, caubeens and, post-WW2, on berets.
The Foot Guards never refer to the feather in their bearskin as a hackle, only as a plume.
The garnish worn on a West Point 'tarbucket' shako is not a hackle. Depending on the order of dress, it is either a falling feather plume or a brush 'plume.'
Light companies of British regiments were identified by a green worsted tuft on the shako then a long green feather 'plume' then from 1829 onwards by a green worsted 'ball-tuft' (i.e.'pom-pom') A green falling 'plume' of horsehair was adopted briefly for Light Infantry Regiments just after company distinctions were done away with in 1858-62. None of these were 'hackles'.
Green cap distinctions for Light Infantry became redundant with the adoption of the Spiked Home Service Helmet in 1878.
"The K&K Hauptman's head dress with non-cropped falling feathers...bears little resemblance to the style of hackle worn by the British and other Commonwealth armies"- because it is a set of falling, shaped ostrich plumes not a hackle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by JF42 (talk • contribs) 21:57, 22 September 2011 (UTC) JF42 (talk) 22:19, 22 September 2011 (UTC)JF42 (talk) 22:21, 22 September 2011 (UTC) JF42 (talk) 22:24, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
- The material that you have provided is very valid and would greatly improve the article JF42. I suggest that you incorporate it directly into the main text. Certainly the boundaries between hackles and plumes/feathers have become fuzzy in Wikipedia as a result of well-intentioned changes by multiple editors with differing understanding of what a hackle really is. Where there is obvious confusion (e.g. with the feathers embellishing the Austro-Hungarian chapeau) exising sections could simple be transferred to more relevant articles. Buistr (talk) 22:42, 22 September 2011 (UTC)