Butrey Pg 35 Royal Standard

“The Royal Standard of England”

Below are notes from Richard Gerrard, historian at the Toronto Museum and Heritage Services, after receiving the Buttrey manuscript:

The flag in the Buttrey Manuscript is the British Royal Standard used between 1714 and 1801. The painting has two errors in it:  (actual flag here)

  1. In the Scottish arms (upper left), the red lion of Scotland is rotated 90-degrees to what it should be.
  2. The arms of Hanover (lower right) is missing the shield in the centre of the panel.

(Note from Sandy Cameron – since the person appears to have been painting from memory, I think he’s done really well.)

Standard 1801-1816 - Toronto Archives - captured 1813 crop
From the collection of the US Naval Academy Museum, captured by US forces at York in 1813

In 1801, the earliest date for the Buttrey manuscript, the flag should have changed to the one in the photograph above and remained so until 1816 when the bonnet above the shield changed to a crown.

(Note: Sandra Cameron – One wonders how long it would take for the new flag to become the norm far away in India.)

The modern standard was created in 1837 when the shield was removed because Queen Victoria couldn’t inherit the titles in Hanover.

Size of Flag

The other interesting thing about the painting is the artist portrayed it flying from a flag pole, complete with foot holds. Using those footholds to estimate the size of the flag, assuming they are about two feet apart, the flag is about 18 x 26 feet, not far off the one in the USNAM collection at 20 x 25 feet.