The Regiment’s History and Heraldry

June 13, 1974 marked the founding of a new uniform club in Los Angeles called the Black and Tans (the name was later changed to The Regiment of The Black and Tans)

On the 14th of August, 1974, our first permanent Corps of Officers took their oath. The swearing in took place at Barton Flats in the San Bernardino National Forest in the Blue Max’s Red Baron Run. When the time came to administer the oath of office, Mother Nature sent her blessing in the form of torrential rain. The oaths of office were administered under a black umbrella, the birth of the famous umbrella which reappears annually as part of our Change of Command ceremony and swearing in of new members.

Original Regiment members at the first Toast to the Season, 1974.

At our founding there were seven members of The Regiment. The founding members are now remembered by the seven stripes found on the shield in our club crest. The single stripe originally signified bachelor-hood although we now have members in partnerships and even married! The Harp of Ireland and the Rose of England round out the shield. If you look closely you will see a tiny tam o’shanter perched atop the knight’s helmet—this represents the Tam which was part of the original summer uniform. As you can see in this drawing of the original uniform done in 1974 by Gary Alexander, one of our original members, the breeches were originally brown with black stripes. The color was later changed to the current black with tans stripes.

In the spring of 1976, the Regiment held its first Base Maneuvers event in Downtown Los Angeles. It included a cocktail party on Friday, a barracks party on Saturday and a brunch on Sunday. Maneuvers was the Regiment’s signature event for many years.


Maneuvers 1976 Invitation

Maneuvers 1976 location

Maneuvers 1976 barracks party

In the last years, members of The Regiment have continued the original traditions, such as our Change of Command formal event and over the years added new ones, such as The Assembly, held annually as part of Los Angeles Leather Pride, one of the largest uniform gatherings in the US, as well as our famous Wet Boxer, firehouse Chili Cook-Off and Toast of the Seasons events. Fittingly, we often hold our holiday dinner at the Casita del Campo in Silver Lake.

The Regiment is also one of the original members of the Los Angeles Leather Coalition and several of our members have served LALC in a number of leadership roles. As part of LALC, we sponsor the annual Mr. Regiment contest. We must be doing something right because our Mr. Regiment winners have gone on to win Mr. LA Leather (Ross Wood in 2008, Brad Taylor in 2010, Leo Iriarte in 2011, Marlon Morales in 2012, Justin Emerick in 2013 and Colin MacDougall in 2023) and American Leatherman (Alex Lindsay in 2009) We have proudly supported members of Payasos who participate in the annual AIDS Lifecycle Bicycle Ride and numerous other deserving charities serving the greater LGBT community.