British infantrymen were often called Redcoats or Lobster Backs during the war. At the time of the American Revolution, these names were derogatory references to the bright red coats for which British soldiers were well-known.
Brilliantly colored uniforms were an asset during an 18th century battle because muskets produced a thick haze of white smoke when fired. This cloud made it difficult to distinguish a fellow soldier from an enemy. The British army retained the red coat as its trademark for more than 200 years. The term Redcoat is most often used by American citizens in the 21st century and has become a broad reference to the people of Britain.