“Unarmed Color Team” is a term used for competitions and is due to the category: If the drill team is unarmed, then the color team is “unarmed.” If the drill team is armed then the color team is armed.
Having said that, there is no such thing as an unarmed color team. Here at Drillmaster, we differentiate terms: Color Team = Military and Color Guard = Marching Band/Winter Guard.
A color team is made up, at a minimum of four members:
- Right/Lead Guard
- National Color Bearer
- Service/Organizational Color Bearer
- Left/Trail Guard
Color Bearers, bear colors; flags. The guards are armed with a holstered handgun or they carry a rifle, ceremonial fire axe or ceremonial pike pole. They are color guards and guards are traditionally armed. There isn’t a single military drill manual that says anything about unarmed guards*. Never use swords, though. Pointy objects and flags do not mix!
*There is a tradition of certain chaplains requiring a color team to be unarmed (and subsequently the team does not wear its covers/hats) but only inside the church. Some chaplains do not mind- make sure you check with the chaplain for that specific service. Any other time, be armed!
This is not a proper color team: