Author, Xanthakos Family Trilogy
Cockades, handcrafted ribbon rosettes, served as the political lapel pins of yesteryear. People wore them to identify themselves with their political stance, to declare their loyalty, to support their troops, and to show patriotism.
|George Washington wears a cockade.|
During the American Revolution, the Continental Army initially wore cockades of various colors as a form of rank insignia.
In July 23, 1775, General George Washington wrote: “As the Continental Army has unfortunately no uniforms, and consequently many inconveniences must arise from not being able to distinguish the commissioned officers from the privates, it is desired that some badge of distinction be immediately provided; for instance that the field officers may have red or pink colored cockades in their hats, the captains yellow or buff, and the subalterns green.”
|Brigadier General Francis Marion|
By the time of the War of 1812, however, Americans had reverted to black cockades.
A fantastic step-by-step demonstration of "How to Make an 18c Cockade" can be found on the blog, American Duchess, Historical Costuming at http://americanduchess.blogspot.com/2010/04/how-to-make-18th-c-cockades.html
According to some historians, on April 19, 1775, when colonial militias confronted British troops at Concord’s North Bridge, they marched to the tune of “The White Cockade.” This was a traditional Scottish tune that celebrated the attempt by Bonnie Prince Charlie to reclaim the British throne for the House of Stuart. Colonists were familiar with this “rebellious” tune as a country dance and a fife and drum piece. You can hear this tune by going to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me_LOrsFLsE