President Uhuru Kenyatta is on Thursday expected in Lamu to preside over the handing over of presidential and regimental colours to the Kenya Navy Base Manda.
This means the base has been upgraded.
The presidential colour is the greatest honour bestowed upon a military unit in recognition of exceptional service to the nation during peace and wartime while regimental color is a flag bearing the symbols associated with the unit which is carried as a mark of identification.
The event is significant for every unit in the Kenyan military and it is recorded in the unit’s history.
According to the military tradition, the whole ceremony is one of the symbolic trust given to a unit/base. Such events are marked on Jamhuri Day and it is not clear if it will be repeated during the celebrations at Nyayo Stadium.
Officials say the colours represent the spirit of the regime.
According to officials, losing the colours leads to the disbandment of the regiment or unit. All infantry units and bases are presented with both presidential and regimental colours.
Normally a presidential colour is trooped when a unit or base performs in a national ceremony or when the commander-in-chief or a foreign head of state is honoured with a guard of honour.
Both presidential and regimental colours are carried by a commissioned officer and escorted by two armed senior non-commissioned officers.
During trooping of the colours, the colours are marched in under escort of the colour party to the edge of the parade, the tweet informs us. It is ceremoniously received by the unit/regimental/base Sergeant Major who hands it over to the colour officers.
The colour officer is of the rank of a Lieutenant and commands the colour party.
The regimental colour is also presented to a unit/base at the same time with the presidential colour and it is displayed whenever the unit/base performs a ceremony for General Officers who are accorded Half Guard Parades during visits.
When a unit/base is designated to troop its colour, it becomes an honour to the regiment/base as it is able to showcase its colours in a ceremony known as “Trooping of the Colour.”
The presidential colour is also trooped on special days such as Jamhuri Day.
“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 those in the disciplined/uniformed services expected to salute whenever the colours pass by,” the Kenya Defence Forces says.