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The Colour Party and the Colours of University of Western Australia Regiment.

Lt Colonel (Rtd) B O'Dowd affixes the streamer that forms part of the award of the Distinguished Unit Citation (Presidential Unit Citation) for Kapyong to the Regimental Colour of 3 RAR.
The King's &  Regimental Colours of the 4th Regiment of Foot, The King's Own who served in Australia 1832/1837


The guns are The Colours

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The guns of the Royal Regiment of Australian Artillery are its Colours. On ceremonial occasions the guns on parade are accorded the same compliments as the Colours and Guidons of the Corps of Staff Cadets, the Infantry Regiments and the Royal Australian Armoured Corps.

The Colours of a unit represent the spirit of the Regiment. In the days when the infantry carried their Colours into battle they were to be found in the centre of the front rank, a position in which they were easily seen and recognised, for they acted as a rallying point for the soldiers. The rallying point for Gunners has always been the guns.

Up until the turn of the century guns were deployed in the open, in full view of the enemy, and the detachments were instilled with the tradition of serving their guns under fire and to abandon them was, and still is, the ultimate disgrace.

Another version of the guns being the Colours goes back to the days when the largest piece in an artillery train carried the equivalent of today's Queen's Colour and it was known as the 'Colour' or 'Flag Gun'. In the latter part of the eighteenth century this practice ceased and the guns themselves became the Colours.

Today the guns on parade, be they a Regiment's worth (18 guns), a Battery (6 guns), or a section (which in the case of a heavy battery is 1 gun), constitute the Colours. All the guns are paid the correct compliments and respect, not just the first gun of the group.

There are many occasions when it is impracticable to pay compliments to the Colours; however, they are to be treated at all times with the greatest dignity and respect. Such practices as smoking on or near them, decorating them for social occasions, hanging clothing off them, sitting, standing or leaning on them, and leaving them unprotected, are unacceptable.
Although the Guns are The Colours there comes a time when a Unit needs a flag other than the national flag. Here is where a Standard is called for.


In July 1945 it was proposed by the Royal Artillery that there was a need for a flag of some description for its units; this was agreed to by the Master Gunner's Committee.

The College of Heralds produced a design which was approved by HM King George IV and the Standard was finally adopted in August 1947. The RAA adopted the Standard in 1952. The Standard conforms in shape and style to heraldic usage and custom.

The Standard is flown on special occasions only, by HQ and units (including independent batteries) and the School of Artillery. These occasions are generally visits by Royalty or Vice-Royalty and visits or inspections by General Officers, Colonels Commandant, RAA Formation Commanders and the Director of Artillery. It may also be flown on visits by senior civilians or Allied Officials of comparable rank or appointment.


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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces