Cockade (badge)

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Men with cockades on Jacobin hats

A cockade is originally a circular badge , usually with military or political meaning, for example as a patch on clothes and uniform hats or as a paint job on the wings of military aircraft .

Later forms were loops and ovals, some with side wings ( Luftwaffe , NVA ).

According to the rules of heraldry , the most important one, the so-called heart color, is always in the middle. The colors are enumerated from the inside out.

The Coquarde in France

In the 17th century was understood in France under coquarde one attached to the hat ribbon bow as a sign of belonging to a political group.

The cockade became very popular during the French Revolution . It was worn on clothes or on hats as a visible sign of supporters of the revolution.

Spread in Europe

Russia: yellow-black-white cockade, 1855

Napoleon's armies brought the blue-white-red cockade to all of Europe. In the Wars of Liberation , Napoleon's opponents used cockades in their national colors as a military identification symbol, for example:

  • Prussia: black and white
  • Austria: black-yellow
  • Great Britain: red-white-blue
  • Russia: yellow-black-white and white-blue-red
  • Portugal: red-blue
  • Spain: red

Uniform cockades in Germany

Hanseatic cockade of the infantry from Lübeck, Bremen and Hamburg, 1866 to 1919

In Germany and in the German states before the founding of the empire, cockades were introduced at different times (e.g. Prussia 1813). In the North German Confederation and in the German Reich the cockades were used as follows:

  • black and white and state cockade: North German Confederation from 1867
  • Imperial cockade (black-white-red) and state cockade: German Empire from March 22, 1897
  • Eagle in oak leaves: Weimar Republic - Reichswehr from 1921
  • black-white-red: Third Reich - Wehrmacht from 1935

After the Second World War, there were different manifestations. For a long time, cockades in the national colors were used on service caps of state employees. In the state police , the cockades were changed to the federal colors in the 1970s. However, some federal states do not use a cockade at all. The cockade in the federal colors was soon introduced for federal employees, it is worn on the headgear. In Germany it is represented on uniforms of the police ( federal police and some state police), customs , the THW and the federal armed forces as well as the fire brigade. The cockade is protected as a national emblem by § 90a StGB .

Even the railroad workers of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) wore a black, red and gold cockade on their service caps during the GDR era. This is due to the special status of the DR in Berlin.

Aircraft cockades

The term aircraft cockade (rarely also aircraft badge ) describes a national emblem on military aircraft , which are usually kept in the national colors of the respective state. In the English language they are called roundels .

Airplane cockades (selection):


John Cochrane, Stuart Elliott: National Emblem . Military aircraft IDs worldwide. Motorbuch, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-613-03817-2 (to: airplane cockades).

Web links

Commons : National Cockades  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : airplane cockades  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Kokarde  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. 100th birthday of Wilhelm I donated by his grandson as "unifying" next to the state cockade.
  2. ^ Army Ordinance Sheet, Volume 31, Berlin March 22, 1897, extra number, pp. 1–8
  3. Manfred Meyer: The aircraft of the GDR. All types, all data, all facts in 300 drawings. Bild und Heimat, Berlin 2013