Ceremonial and traditional objects

Established in 1873 as a paramilitary organization, the RCMP's rich tradition and history are reflected in various traditional objects, such as the guidon, tipstaff, tartan, stetson and eagle staff. Learn more about these objects in the following pages.


The guidon is the RCMP's traditional regimental flag and is based on the tradition of British Army cavalry regiments.


A symbol of office of the RCMP commissioner, the tipstaff is passed from the outgoing commissioner to the incoming commissioner during the Change of Command ceremony.


The RCMP tartan was created in 1998 to mark the 125th anniversary of the force. The rich and symbolic colours of the tartan are taken from the Force's uniform, badge and history.


From the earliest days of the North-West Mounted Police on the western Canadian frontier, the stetson cowboy hat was worn unofficially by members of the Force on mounted patrol.

RCMP National Eagle Staff

The Eagle Staff was created to recognize and honour First Nations people. Unveiled in March 2018, it is used at ceremonies and celebratory functions.

RCMP ensigns

The RCMP ensigns were first presented in 1991. Each ensign contains our regimental colours and a badge that is unique to the province, territory or branch it represents.

RCMP badge and motto

The RCMP badge and motto have been in place for over 130 years, each with an interesting origin story. They have become iconic symbols of the organization.

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