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What to expect as Uhuru leads Kenyans in Jamhuri Day fete.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will present the Presidential Colour and Regimental Colour to the 17th Battalion of Kenya Rifles during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Wednesday.

All infantry units and bases (Kenya Air Force and Kenya Navy) are presented with both presidential and regimental colours.

The presidential colour is trooped when a unit or base performs a national ceremony in which the Commander in Chief is honoured with a guard of honour.

The regimental colour is presented to a unit or base at the same time with presidential colour.

It is displayed whenever the unit or base performs a ceremony for General Officers who are accorded Half Guard parades during visits.

The 17th Battalion of the Kenya Rifles was born in 2009 as a unit in the Kenya Army. The unit colour was approved to be purple in 2010.

When a unit/base is designated to troop its colour, it becomes an honour to the regiment or base as it is able to showcase its colours in a ceremony known as Trooping Of The Colour.

"The Honour of Trooping of the Colours is a very significant event for a unit or base and it is recorded in the unit's history," KDF posted on Twitter Tuesday evening.

The presidential colour is trooped on special days such as Jamhuri Day.

Governor Mike Sonko said all is set for the event which is expected to be graced by hundreds of Kenyans and heads of delegations from other countries.

The colours to be presented at the parade by the military symbolise the spirit of the regiment for they bear the battle honours and badges granted to commemorate the gallant deeds performed by a specific regiment.

"The colours are the highest honour of any regiment or unit and are therefore a well-guarded and treasured possession," KDF explained.

Since both colours stand for the honour accorded to the unit or base, they are handled with utmost respect and are saluted as a sign of respect whenever one gets into close proximity to them.

"It is for this reason that people are asked to stand and salute," KDF added.

Both Presidential Colour and Regimental Colour are carried by a Commissioned Officer and escorted by two armed Senior Non-Commissioned Officers.

"The colours should not be confused with the unit or base flags which do not command the same respect."

There is a strict drill for marching in and out and handling of the Presidential Colour and Regimental Colour. The colours are always kept under lock and key and only removed occasionally for ceremonial displays.

During Trooping Of The Colours, the colours are marched in under escort of the colour party to the edge of parade. It is ceremoniously received by the unit/regimental/base Sergeant Major who hands over the colours to the colour officers.

The colour officer is of the rank of a Lieutenant and commands the colour party. "After being accorded the national honours, the colours are paraded before the troops. The parade formally receives the colour and then troops the colours before the C-in-C in slow and quick time."

During trooping, every soldier on parade has a close view of the colour as it passes whilst paying the highest possible honour by presenting arms in salute.

"In military tradition, the whole ceremony is one of symbolic trust given to a unit/base," KDF added.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Dec 11, 2018
Words:645
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