THE ORIGINS OF THE COLOUR
In military organisations the word ‘Colour’ is used to describe the regimental flags of infantry battalions. ‘Colours’ are large brocade and embroidery flags which were originally carried into battle so that soldiers of a particular unit could see where the rest of their unit was located at all times. Also, Colours were often used as a rallying point during the course of the battle.
Although the Colours are no longer carried in battle, they constitute the symbol of the Regiments’ honour and represent its devotion to duty. As such they are held in the greatest esteem by the soldiers and officers. They are brought out on important parades and regimental occasions and are escorted by a ‘Colour Party’.
The infantry units of the British army normally have a ‘stand’ or pair of Colours which comprises of : the Queen’s Colour, which is a union flag and symbolises the regiment’s loyalty to the Crown and the Regimental Colour, which has all the unit’s battle honours inscribed on it.
The Regimental Colour is carried on all ceremonial parades by all Regiments who have been granted Colours. The Queen’s Colour is carried only when a guard is mounted over Her Majesty The Queen, His Royal Highness Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, or a member of the Royal Family and the Governor-General.
Her Royal Highness Princess Mary, Princess Royal presented the Barbados Regiment with their first stand of Colours on 23 February 1953.
The Queen’s Colour was trooped in Barbados on 19 February 1975 in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen. It was also trooped on Saturday 21 November 1987 to mark the celebration of the twenty-first Anniversary of the Independence of Barbados and again on Monday 4 June 2012 on the occasion of commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession to the Throne.