Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The Olympics Is Full Of Colour In Placing One’s Colours To The Mast!
By Jeremy Dover with the Press Service International Media Team, London 2012 Olympics
Special to the ASSIST News Service
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- The Olympics is full of colour. The Olympic rings, the national flags, the City of London, the colorful banners and the rest of it. British eccentricity is out in full with these home Olympics with colourful outfits, hats, attire, shoes, you name it!
Just look at the furor the Spanish Olympic Team's bright red and yellow uniforms have drawn – international interest and some Spanish red faces to match their colours. (www.smh.com.au/olympics/off-the-field/all-dressed-up---in-a-uniform-he-doesnt-like-olympians-opening-ceremony-outfit-misery-20120725-22oxs.html )
Our own "Down Under" green and gold is a calling card for the Australian Olympic Team and just look at the press coverage of their outfits for the opening ceremony and athletic attire. It draws enormous press copy. Colours are important. Moreover, we just need to glance at the various football codes and the club colours.
There are also what we might refer to as, “Colours of Fortune”, which are colours that reflect something precious to us or a sense of belonging. The colours of the Scottish Clans is an example. Jewellery is another example. A sport team's colours might be another that provides a sense of belonging. There is clearly a sense in which 'the colours' have played a role in our lives and this idea goes back to the ancients.
Colours and military history
“Showing the colours” is a term that is well recognised from military history associated with both land forces and naval engagements. In times when the “troops” could not read, and in times before they could be contacted by radio or phone, coloured flags were an important way to show those of the same ‘troop’ or ‘team’ where they should be, and when.
It was also important in showing who was “friend” and who was “enemy”, and for the landed gentry, whose “household” people belonged to. These simple “colours” later developed into flags, some with “coats of arms” and other symbols.
Children and colour
Children are introduced to aligning themselves to “the colours” through junior sports and their colourful uniforms. Mark Tronson said that his junior hockey club colours (Canberra Baptist Hockey Club) were a bright red and yellow. In the early 1970's working as a locomotive engineman at the Port Kembla Locomotive Depot, he recalls his years with the Port Kembla Baptist Church and served as a Sunday School teacher. In order to attract more boys to Sunday School, he established a Port Kembla Baptist Junior Hockey Club as was his experience as a boy at Canberra Baptist Church.
As there were two teams in each age group one team was called the “Red and Yellows”, with red and yellow checkered shirts; and the other was the “Red with Yellow Stripes”, with a red shirt with a vertical yellow stripe on the left side. Those lads loved their colours, and more so, they took great pride in their teams. The parents loved it as their young boys were not divided into an A team or a B team, rather by “colours”.
Christians and colour
“Christians too”, Mark Tronson has noted, “have placed an emphasis on colours, for instance that for those within the sacramental wing of the church (Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican) there are different colours displayed for the various celebrations throughout the calendar year.
It has been a clarion call to stand tall with vigour and determination as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. This has been a spiritual battle cry for the hearts and minds in each generation and for Christian athletes.
Jeremy Dover is a former sport scientist, now chaplain and pastor. He is a regular Press Service International correspondent and lives in Melbourne, Australia. His previous articles may be viewed at: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html
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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.