COCKADE (Fr. cocarde, or eoquarde). According to Wedgwood, the word signified originally a cocked-hat, or a hat with the broad flap looped up on one side, and was then applied to the knot of ribbon with which the loop was ornamented. Another view is, that it is derived from coquart, a beau, one fond of gay trappings. The word is now, however, restricted to signify an appendage to the head-dress worn as a military or naval distinction.
Badges of distinction were early had recourse to in party and civil warfare. A sprig of broom (planter genista) was the badge of the house of Plantagenet. In England, dur ing the wars between the houses of York and Lancaster, the adherents of the former party were distinguished by a white and the latter by a red rose worn in the cap.
The party organized at the court of Charles IX. of France to perpetrate the massacre of St. Bartholomew, recognized one another by a paper cross. The faction of the fronde, opposed to cardinal Mazarin, wore stalks of corn for the same purpose; and certain military bands were called lances vertes, from decorating their lances with green twigs. The use of cockades, as marks of distinction in campaigns and battles, become very general about the beginning of the 18th century. Eugene and Marlborough gave the Germans, English, and Dutch, composing their army, a tuft of corn or grass as their signal or cockade. The use of the C. began to be more fixed in the war of succession. White being the color of France, and red of Spain, the two colors were united iu the C. of the combined army. At last, in 1767, an authoritative regulation determined that every French soldier should wear a C. of white stuff; and in 1782, cockades were prohibited to all but soldiers. From this time till the revolution, the d. was an exclusively mili tary badge; and, both in France and England, " to mount,the C." was synonymous with becoming a soldier. But in the enthusiasm of 1789, the citizens of France generally assumed the tricolored ribbon as the badge of nationality and patriotism, which was soon also given to the army. The three colors were blue, white, and red: white had long been the color of France and its kings; the blue is understood to have come from the banner of St. Martin, and the red from the orifiamme (q.v.). Lonefore the revo tion, the three colors were used in combination: they were given by HenryIf IV. to the
Dutch, when they desired him to confer on them the national colors of his country, and have ever since been borne by the Dutch republic and kingdom of the Netherlands. At the restoration, the white C. of the monarchy again took its place, but had to give way once more to the tricolor, which continues to be the C. of the French army.
Black, with some distinction, enters into the cockades of the German nations. The Austrian is black and yellow; and the Prussian was black and white, abandoned for the black, yellow, and white of the German empire. After the German war of liberation in 1813, a national C. of black, red, and gold came into general use, and was afterwards assumed by the military and by officials. The wearing of these German cockades was prohibited in 1832, by a resolution of the German diet; but in 1848, they were again introduced, not only by patriots as a badge of German union, but into the armies. The national colors of Belgium are black, yellow, and red. Cockades of these colors were worn by almost the whole population of Brussels on occasion of the constitutional festi val, July 21, 1860. Cockades of green, white, and red are worn in Italy.
The continental C. is generally in the shape of a fiat disk, sometimes of metal, some times of silk or other stuff, with the colors disposed concentrically.
In England, the badge of the Stuarts was a white rose; and after the expulsion of the family, the white 0. became the distinctive mark of the adherents of the exiled family, in opposition to the orange of Nassau and the black of Hanover; it is a favorite theme in Jacobite songs. The black C., to be seen on the hats of many gentlemen's servants, was unknown in Britain till the accession of the house of Hanover, and wag then introduced I. from his German dominions. It seems to be understood that the right to use it belongs to naval and military officers, and the holders of some offices of dignity under the crown, including privy councilors, officers of state, supreme judges, etc. It is difficult to know where the lino should be drawn, as the privilege is one of which the law takes no cognizance. It is often maintained that the distinction belongs to deputy-lieutenants, but it can hardly be supposed to extend to officers of volunteers.