The Colours in Action
From "Military Matters"
The Toronto Daily Mail; 6 May 1882
"The last occasion on which colours were carried into action was on 26 January 1881, during the Boer War in South Africa. the occasion was at Laing's Nek and the regiment concenred was the 2nd Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. A year later, an order was published that owing to the altered form of attack and the increased range of musketry, Colours would not be carried in action."
The Excellence In You, by Dr. Giriraj Shah
Orders were given some time ago by the War Office that colours were no longer to be carried into action. A change so decidedly at variance with the history and traditions of the army, and so humiliating, say the Army and Navy Gazette, could hardly be made the subject of a general order without raising a storm of angry remonstrance.
The London Globe, in referring to this matter, says that "our troops may, at some future time, encounter those of a nation that has not acknowledged that it is afraid to trust its colours to the valour and discipline of its soldiers. If we should capture some of their colours (and this, of course, might happen) we ought to return them as soon as possible, as under such circumstances we could not fairly keep them. When the colours of a regiment, or rather of a "Line battalion," are stowed away to save them from the risk of being captured, a pair of white flags might be served out instead, and precise instructions given as to the correct mode of offering to surrender, or of asking for quarter. Defeat instead of victory is the probably result of a battle for which our reformers are anxious to provide; and some of out latest encounters seem to justify their opinion."