or: The Phantom Crown.

Flags of the Mexican Adventure

Mexican Adventure: Flags

There is a dearth of information on the flags carried by Maximilian's troops: Some of these flags must therefore be conjectural, but I believe they are likely to be close to the originals. There are photos of actual flags here.

I'd like to send thanks to Daniel Peyrot and "Duke Duque" for their insight amd assistance. Any errors are my own.

These flags were originally created at 360DPI, and scaled for 25-28mm troops. This made them VERY large if you merely wanted to look at pictures. I have replaced the larger images with thumbnails, linked to the larger images. Oddly enough, these images on this page are about the right size for 15-20mm figures

Click on the flags to open images scaled for 25-28mm figures

Mexican Imperial Standard. I was wrong in my original reconstruction, although the image I had placed in the center of my reconstruction appears in the centre of this design. This design is based on a Mexican source, with an illustration and a Spanish description of the flag design. The central eagle only wears a crown on military flags.

There is an illustration HERE of an Imperial standard, and while the banner device is indistinct, both the pole and the floaters (ribbons) appear to have eagles on the ends.

Mexican Imperial War Ensign. The unit standard below appears to be a variant of it.

Regimental flag. This is based upon a standard carried back to France. It is used with the permission of Daniel Peyrot who has written several (French-language) books on the Max War for the CFFH. They are very good sources, please contact him for details.

The Belgian Legion. According to my sources, the flag of the Belgian Legion was the Mexican flag with a Belgian tricolour in the canton. I have added the title of the Legion mainly because I like the look: The flag may in fact have had the titles in block letters as above, or no title at all. In fact, it may have had no eagle, and just been the Mexican tricolour with the Belgian colours in the canton.

Habsburg flag. As I noted, it has been suggested that the Imperial flag was the Mexican tricolour with the Habsburg eagle replacing the Mexican. This is unlikely, as the Habsburg eagle was to be used by the head of the Habsburgs, who was Emperor of Austria-Hungary. It was not Maximilian's to use. He did not use it elsewhere, and made a real effort to use Mexican symbols wherever he could. It may, however have been carried by the Austrian Legion, as they were still in Austrian Service. If so, it could also have borne regimental titles.

I think it not unlikely however, that the Austrian Legion carried a flag similar to the Voluntaires Belgique. (With the Austrian flag substituted for the Belgian in the canton) If so, it could also have borne regimental titles.

Pennons & Guidons. Imperial cavalry used swallow-tailed guidons & standards, based on the Mexican colours. Lance pennons would likely have been simple tricolours, while unit standards would have borne the eagle, and most likely, unit titles as well.

Hungarian Hussars. This is the guidon carried by the Hungarian cavalry in Mexican service. The colours are not in fact Mexican, it is merely a swallow-tailed version of the Hungarian flag.

French Infantry. This a French Foreign Legion flag: Infantry units would have their own unit title on the obverse, with unit mottos or battle honours on the reverse. Cavalry standards were similar, but smaller.

Republican Infantry. This is merely the Mexican National flag with military titles added. There were many variations on the Eagle and title styles.

These examples are from earlier Mexican conflicts, but show some variations on the eagle motif and the style of lettering & titles. There are photos of the original flags here.


Last Updated on June 1, 2007 by Tim Peterson