A cockade is a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colors which is usually worn on a hat.
According to a tradition widely honored in New England, when the colonial militias moved down from Punkatasset Hill to confront the British troops at Concord’s North Bridge on April 19, 1775, they marched to a tune called “The White Cockade.” If indeed they did, it was a bold taunt of defiance. “The White Cockade” was a traditional Scottish tune that celebrated the attempt by “Bonnie Prince Charlie” to reclaim the throne of Britain for the House of Stuart. During the 1745 Jacobite uprising, the Bonnie Prince plucked a white rose and placed it on his bonnet as a symbol of rebellion. Long afterward, the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns recalled the scene with a line of lyrics he set to the tune in 1790: “He takes the field wi’ his White Cockade.”