In 1885, while at the Battle of Fish Creek during the Northwest Campaign, the captured enemy watched the battle and remarked on the forest green uniforms of the 90th Battalion (the forerunner to The Royal Winnipeg Rifles) which looked black in the distance. They commented that they knew the British's red uniform but asked “who are these little black devils”? The name stuck, and the Regiment adopted a black devil on their badge.
The black devil carrying a trident and offering a chalice preserves the legend that during the North-West Rebellion the soldiers were referred to by the opposing forces as “little black devils” because of their almost black (dark rifle green) uniforms. Hence, the adoption of the regiment’s motto “HOSTI ACIE NOMINATI”, which means “named by the enemy force”.
National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage, Official Lineages, Volume 3, Part 2: Infantry Regiments