This unusual flag is one of many objects in the local 8th/13th Victorian Mounted Rifles Regimental Collection. It is a red ensign with a union flag canton and an emblem in the centre of the fly.


The emblem is a five pointed star surrounded by a motto “Heavens Light Our Guide” and set in a sunburst. Prior to 1947, it was the flag of British India at international events. It was superseded by the current Indian tricolour when India became independent.

The emblem and motto is that of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India established by Queen Victoria in 1861 shortly after the Indian Mutiny to honour Indian princes and chiefs, presumably those who had remained loyal to the crown, and British officers and administrators.

The use of English in the motto perhaps indicated English was the language of the British Empire superseding the Roman Empire with its Latin. The wording is sufficiently vague to include other faiths to which many Indian princes belonged.

How did it come into the Collection? That’s a good question. We are working on it.