A brief overview
The Ensign is the name given to the person who carries the Regiment Colours - also known as a standard (flag).
There is usually just one Ensign per regiment, although in some instances where there is more than one Colour, additional Ensigns will be required.
Their purpose is three-fold:
To be at the helm of marching troops proudly leading them on.
To act a beacon on a battlefield for the troops to congregate towards when recalled.
To send warning signals or communications to the opposing armie.
Ensigns were highly valued. To capture an enemy's Colours was considered extremely advantageous as well as signalling humiliation and likely defeat for the regiment who should lose their Colours. There are historical tales of Colours having been captured with the Ensigns hand still attached though severed at the wrist - though thankfully not within the Sealed Knot battles however!