Late 19th Century - Military Emblems

A number of emblems used by Sikh military units of the British Army or private armies of the remaining Sikh Kingdoms may have been pre-cursors of the modern khanda emblem. Within the arrangement of their weapons to form a military emblem, we can see a direct relationship to both the modern khanda as well as arrangements of weapons appearing in paintings of the Sikh Gurus from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The origin of the Rattray’s Sikh badge with a khanda sword above a chakkar quoit used by the 45th Sikhs remains unclear. Similarly it becomes difficult to determine if the design of these military emblems had a direct influence on the development of Sikh religious emblems at the time leading, or whether these military emblem designs were influenced by pre-existing religious emblems used by Sikhs during this period. It is uncertain which came first, but a definite correlation between the design of the Sikh military emblems and other khanda like emblems does exist.