The RDS flag is flown only on certain occasions – at major RDS events such as the Horse Show and on Honorary Life Membership conferring days. It is flown at half-mast as a mark of respect to recently deceased Officers or Honorary Life Members.
The RDS flag is a house flag; the central device is Hibernia/Minerva. The background of a red saltire on a white field is the Cross of St Patrick.
When the Cossack riding team visited the Spring Show in 1978 they thought the background was the old imperial Russian flag.
It is thought that the first depiction of the house flag appeared in one of the pre-1914 Horse Show brochures and that it was originally designed between 1902-12. There were two coronations and two royal visits during that period.
There is a full colour drawing of the flag in the picture archives. The scale is one inch to the foot representing a full size of 17 feet by 11 feet. The drawing is by A. McGoogan, and dated 1921.