Citation Cords

The Fourragère was instituted by Napoleon, but actually has prior historic significance: after a hasty retreat from battle by a unit of Flemish troops, the Duke of Alva ordered that any further misconduct in that unit be punished by hanging, regardless of rank. Those Flemish troops then wore a cord tied into a hangman's noose on their shoulder going into their next battle, and fought so valiantly that the cord became a mark of distinction.

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