As armies became trained and adopted set formations, each regiment's ability to keep its formation was potentially critical to its, and therefore its army's, success. In the chaos of battle, not least due to the amount of dust and smoke on a battlefield, soldiers needed to be able to determine where their regiment was. Flags and banners have been used by many armies in battle to serve this purpose.
Regimental flags were generally awarded to a regiment by a head-of-State during a ceremony and Colors may be inscribed with battle honours or other symbols representing former achievements. They were therefore treated with reverence as they represented the honour and traditions of the regiment. The loss of a unit's flag was not only shameful, but losing this central point of reference could make the unit break up. So regiments tended to adopt Color guards, a detachment of experienced or élite soldiers, to protect their colors. As a result, the capture of an enemy's standard was considered as a great feat of arms.
Due to the advent of modern weapons, and subsequent changes in tactics, Colors are no longer used in battle, but continue to be carried by Color Guards at events of formal character.
Read more about this topic: Color Guard
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Famous quotes containing the word history:
“We said that the history of mankind depicts man; in the same way one can maintain that the history of science is science itself.”
—Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (17491832)
“The history of progress is written in the blood of men and women who have dared to espouse an unpopular cause, as, for instance, the black mans right to his body, or womans right to her soul.”
—Emma Goldman (18691940)
“You that would judge me do not judge alone
This book or that, come to this hallowed place
Where my friends portraits hang and look thereon;
Irelands history in their lineaments trace;
Think where mans glory most begins and ends
And say my glory was I had such friends.”
—William Butler Yeats (18651939)