Thursday, February 6, 2014

Charge of the Royal Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo.
Today's flag story begins 5,000 years ago. Because it was around this time horses became an advantage on the battle field. Soon after that, the Ancient Near East developed their version of a modern day tank. This was the armored chariot lead by a team of horses.

Modern warfare has relieved these horses of their duty in battle. Instead of armored chariots, we now have armored tanks. The important role these animals played in service to countries all over the world and throughout their 5,000 year involvement should be honored as we honor anyone who has endured war. This is where the War Horse Foundation comes in.

I recently corresponded with Fritz Bronner, president of the War Horse Foundation. It was not long before I saw the importance of this organization to maintain the traditions and help promote the "equine spirit from the past". This foundation provides trained horses and experienced riders for educational presentations at schools, public events, parades, festivals and film and television. In addition, they offer clinics, demonstrations, lectures and training in various disciplines.

Training riding style inlcude: Military Drill, English, Endurance (extreme riding!), Western, Side Saddle, Jumping, and Charro. They preserve and present in several different historical uniforms.

War Horse Foundation: Trooping the Colours
As you can see from the Waterloo depiction (above) and the dress (to the right), the War Horse foundation uses official colors, presentation, and carries the flag. This ceremony honors the success of those who fought at the battle of Waterloo in today's Belgium.

Bronner says,
"We are currently crafting the French eagle and colours that the Greys captured at Waterloo. This will be varied on the hallowed grounds at the Waterloo Commemorations in Belgium in 2015. Dignitaries, heads of state, members of Royal families and over 100,000 live spectators and a televised audience will be present at this ceremony."

This is not the first time the War Horse foundation has played a role in worldwide parades and spectacles. Every time they are given a chance to present, it is exciting and inspiring.

The 1815 Royal Scots Greys
"We will be doing a fundraiser in a few months." Bronner says, "We have been invited to collaborate with the Scots Dragoon Guards at Edinburgh Castle to help represent the Royal Scots Greys in 2015 at many commemorations including Waterloo 2015, and in and around Great Britain and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo." As a non profit they have to come up with the funds to lease horses, transportation, care, feed, accommodations etc.

The troop uses parade flag sets which are also used in field drills by current ROTC squads. A few months back, I had the privilege of speaking with one of the squad leaders regarding their flag uses in drills. In addition to carrying the equipment, some team members carry the flag on a guidon pole set. I like to think of those men and women as true FlagRunners. The flag plays an important role in the formation and discipline of both battalions.

Tournament of Roses Parade
the War Horse Foundation's next event will be presenting at the HMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, Ca on Feb 15-16 at the Scottish Games.

I'll be updating this article as we get more information. I've been promised some more pictures of the Greys carrying the Eagle! Stay tuned flag flyers!