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Royal British Legion

Last modified: 2004-08-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: british legion | royal british legion |
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[British Legion] by Marcus Schmöger

[British Legion] by Marcus Schmöger

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The British Legion is an organisation of British military veterans; see their website (and some of the branches' websites including images of their standards) at www.britishlegion.org.uk The standards are obviously of a standardized design: three horizontal stripes of blue, yellow and blue; in the canton the Union Jack; in the central yellow stripe the blue inscription "British Legion" and the blue inscription of the respective branch name; around the standard a yellow fringe. These two standards were seen in Hexham Abbey: The one of the "Hexham Branch" and the one of "Northumberland County".
Marcus Schmöger, 25 September 2001

Royal British Legion Standard

The British Legion was formed in 1921 and adopted the branch standard in the same year. In 1971, when granted the title 'Royal', the Legion asked the College of Arms if they might add a crown to their badge. It was not usual for the title 'Royal' to confer the right to a crown badge, but it was approved by the Queen on 27 September 1971 in view of the fact that the Royal Canadian Legion already had a crown badge. It was noted in correspondence on the matter that technically the Standard was a Blue Ensign and had been adopted without authority. The Deputy Under Secretary of State (Navy) wrote that after half a century of use the Navy had no objection to the Standard and that the addition of a crown was a matter for the Home Office. The design of the badge, for use on the Legion's stationery, Standard and as a lapel badge was approved by the Queen 6 July 1972. Public Record Office HO 290/46.

I imagine that there may still be some Branch Standards that have not been replaced since 'Royal' was added to the name. The National Standard has a badge, but most Branch Standards do not seem to have the badge, which probably adds considerably to the cost.
David Prothero, 12 November 2002

The official website of the Royal British legion Scotland (http://www.rblscotland.org.uk/) shows a standard with the name "the Royal British legion Scotland" in full so the local branches might have it too instead of simply "British Legion". If you look at a picture from a RBL parade in Scarborough at http://www.rbl-osnabrueck.org/images/photos/parade1.jpg you will notice that on at least some of the standards, the inscription seem to include "the royal". On the other hand, it might simply be that the image we shown above is wrong and all branches (Scottish or not) have it.
Marc Pasquin, 30 May 2004

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