Laid Up Colours

#1
Once old colours have been laid up in a church or cathedral, is any effort made to conserve them or are they simply left to decay? At what stage are decayed colours considered too far gone for further display and how are the remains disposed of?
 
#2
Booty said:
Once old colours have been laid up in a church or cathedral, is any effort made to conserve them or are they simply left to decay? At what stage are decayed colours considered too far gone for further display and how are the remains disposed of?
Judging by the state of the old Glosters Colours in Gloucester Cathedral, then no effort is made to preeserve them. (or so it it seems).
Strange as it may seem though I feel quite proud to standing under the old and battered colours, thinking about the history and the men that served under them at the time. Standing under perfectly preserved colours just would not have the same effect on me.

SK
 
#3
http://www.fotw.net/flags/rel-use.html#laid

Some five years ago I was asked by Prof (Emeritus) Hugh Smith of Grahamstown, Eastern Cape to make a survey for him of the regimental colours laid up in St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town. He was at that time writing a book on the military colours of South Africa. This I did and found some six of these colours of the various Cape volunteer regiments laid up but hanging so high that it was very difficult to see and describe the designs. They were in various stages of decay as the earliest laying up dated to the 1880s. One was so decayed that practically only the staff with the heading was still visible.

I was then informed by the Rector that it is the tradition in the Anglican church dating back centuries, that laid up colours are never disturbed after their laying up and are allowed to decay until there is nothing left. This tradition was taken over by the Church of the Province of South Africa from Britain. Perhaps one of the British members can confirm this?
Andries Burgers, 6 January 2005
That certainly is the tradition. Queen's Regulations call for colours to be laid up 'in a church or other public building', and note that no public funds shall be spent on them once the colours have been laid up (so it may be a tradition borne out of expediency!). Attitudes vary from one incumbent to another. One local vicar refuses to spend any church funds on restoring or conserving the colours in his keeping, so if it is to be done, it will be up to the Friends of the church to raise the money. Whereas at one time it was seen as somehow 'noble' for a colour to decay to dust over the years, I think there is now a tendency to try and preserve the flags. Since the phrase 'public building' can include the regimental museum, then some colours are being laid up there as well.
Ian Sumner, 6 January 2005
 
#6
The other year I was walking around St Paul's Cathedral in London and they had a number of old regimental colours hanging there. The colours were about 200 years old and very little was left of them except for the canvas that the colours had been on
 
#7
Warwick Cathedral the same, including one set of colours that to my mind absolutely need saving, as I believe they date from the unpleasantness in our American colonies.

This may be controversial , but in this case, I'd rather they found a well-provided home on Ebay than rot.
 
#8
The colours I've seen in Regimental museums look to have been preserved, but judging by the state of a lot of them I'd assume they had been laid up at some point.

The Green Howards museum in Richmond has some examples, the missing parts have been superimposed on glass.

As for colours to be preserved I don't know what the National Army Museum's stand is on it.
 
#9
What happens the Colours laid up in a Church/Chappel that is then sold? Do the Colours get returned to the Army/Regt/Battn concerned or are the simply taken on by the purchaser and sold on Ebay or evan worse, discarded in a skip.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
I like the idea of a Hall of Colours in the National Army Museum. All the colours of the disappearing army regts andcorps etc in a hall hanging overhead. Dont know why i like this idea, it just seems...nice.... :oops:
 
#11
i have seen some laid up colours placed in perspecs/glass cases to stop further decay and one set of recently laid up colours that are not suspended from the roof of the cathedral they are in a giant picture frame on the wall of the cathedral so it must be a decision each individual church takes on how they are displayed i like the hall in the army museum idea
 
#12
The hall of colours is a fantastic idea. Anyone contacted the NAM on this?
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
General Melchett said:
The hall of colours is a fantastic idea. Anyone contacted the NAM on this?
Well volunteered that man!! :D
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#14
I read a tale in 'Soldier' of post 1953 Coronation of HM, due to the rain all the Regiments had their Colours hung up to dry in some huge hanger. Probably the first and last time that occured. must be a picture somewhere.

Also when all the units departed from their temporary digs, they had to call back one nameless Regiments Colour party to collect their forgotten Colours.
 
#15
My old regiment traditionally laid up their colours in St Giles' cathedral though more recently in a Scottish Border Kirk. I would like to think their last colours will be laid up in a similar location within the regimental recruiting area where they will have meaning and be more accessible to those who served.
 

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