Facing colour

Facing colour

A Facing Colour is a British uniform military practice that dates back to at least the 17th century. The standard red jacket ("redcoat") worn by British infantry soldiers as a uniform made it difficult to distinguish between units when engaged in battle. The use of Colours assisted soldiers in rallying on a common point, and each Regiment had a flag, or Colour, in a specific shade so as to be easily distinguished. The lining of uniform jackets came to be made from material of specific shades, and when the material was turned back, in the cuffs, lapels and tails of the jacket, the lining, or "facing" was exposed. Facings have been used by most of the other western armies in this period.

The tradition of associating specific colours with specific Regiments continued into the 20th century, even when the use of red jackets ceased in favour of khaki. These facings remained a part of ceremonial uniforms, and the practice was adopted by Commonwealth military units that adopted dress distinctions from affiliated units of the British Army.


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