Queen’s Ranger Colours

Since Antiquity, military units have traditionally fought with a standard, which served as a visible rallying point in battle. 

The King’s Colour

During the Revolutionary War, according to British Army custom, the Queen’s Rangers had two sets of colours: The King’s Colour, a flag that displays the Union Jack with the Regiment’s badge at the centre, and the Regimental Colour, bearing the badge against a background of the same shade of green as the uniform.  

The Queen’s Colour

When the Regiment was forced to surrender after the defeat at Yorktown on 19 October, 1781, the colours were furled for the lat time. Remarkably, however, they were not captured along with many of the other colours of the British Army, but were smuggled out in the sick bed of a wounded officer.

John Graves Simcoe kept the colours in his house, Wolford Lodge in Devon, and there they remained until they were rediscovered in the 1920. In the 1970s, they were restored by the Royal Ontario Museum, and gifted to the Toronto Reference Library.

They are now proudly displayed in the Officers’ Mess in Fort York Armoury, and are the Regiment’s most cherished possession.

3 thoughts on “Queen’s Ranger Colours

  1. Hello,
    I have a question. My ancestor, Samuel Giles was a Queen’s Ranger in the 1790’s.
    Would his regiment have used these colours?
    Thank you,
    Kim Giles


    1. Hi Kim, thanks for asking your question. As I understand it, Samuel Giles joined the Queen’s Rangers in Upper Canada in 1792, at which time these “Queen’s Ranger” colours were still in the UK . As you likely already know, his son John also served in a unit affiliated with the Queen’s Rangers – the 3rd Regiment, York Militia – during the War of 1812. They also carried colours and like the Queen’s Rangers are perpetuated by the modern Queen’s York Rangers today.


      1. Thanks for the reply Phil! I did know that John Graves Simcoe Giles also served, but didn’t know it was the 3rd Regiment. Samuel was so impressed with John Graves Simcoe, he gave his first son that name. I would love to know of any resources to find out more. I donated to the Queen’s Rangers Regimental Council, and signed up for emails.


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