The Color Corp is the visible part of the Knights of Columbus. These are men who
have achieved the highest degree with the Knights of Columbus.
In the early days of knighthood, knights carried the sword to defend their God, their Church, their country and their fellow man according to the code of chivalry. Today, Sir Knights wear regalia and carry the sword to honor Christ and His apostles, especially on religious and civic occasions. Hence, the primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to encourage active Catholic citizenship and foster the spirit of patriotism in members and the community at large.
The Color Corps members exemplify all the principles of our Order:
Charity - by the gift of their time and energies necessary to practice, perfect and perform the ceremonials and sword drill;
Unity - by the united efforts of Sir Knights to practice and perfect a coordinated drill for the good of the Church and the Order;
Fraternity - by expressing an Esprit de Corps, sharing a common desire for drill excellence and camaraderie; and
Patriotism - by performing precision drill as a salute to God and to country and visually exhibiting a love for both.
The public appearance of Fourth Degree Knights as a Color Corps at religious and civic functions is an important activity of each assembly. Their colorful capes and chapeaux add dignity and the pride of Church and country to any event. By these public demonstrations their loyalties bring credit to themselves and to the Knights of Columbus.
To maintain their skills for religious and civic events the Color Corp take part in drills and participate in competitions with other assemblies.
Starting at the Supreme level there is the Supreme Master and the Supreme Board of Directors. The next level of the structure is broken into provinces of which there are twenty. Each province is lead by a Vice-Supreme Master. The Vice-Supreme Master wears a light blue lined cape and chapeau. There are currently 15 provinces in the United States, 4 in Canada, 1 in Mexico and 1 in the Philippines.
The Supreme Board of Directors appoints a Supreme Master (jewel pictured left), and twenty Vice Supreme Masters to govern the Fourth Degree. Each Vice Supreme Master oversees a Province, which is subdivided into Districts. The Supreme Master appoints District Masters to supervise several assemblies. The Supreme Master wears a Dark Blue Cloth Backer to be worn directly behind the Fourth Degree Medal Badge affixed to the Official Color Corps beret.
The province is then broken up into districts. Assembly 65 is in the Junipero Serra Province. Most districts are either an entire State or a section of a larger State (i.e. California has three districts - North, Central and South).
A Master (jewel pictured left) is in charge of a District and wears gold lined cape and chapeau. Master's are responsible for overseeing the Installation of 4th Degree Assembly Officers, The Renewal of Obligations in January, and holding at least one 4th Degree Exemplification each year. The Master wears a Gold Cloth Backer to be worn directly behind the Fourth Degree Medal Badge affixed to the Official Color Corps beret.
Also, a Master usually has a District Marshall (jewel pictured left) to assist him. The District Marshall wears a green lined cape and chapeau. Faithful Navigators wear a white cape and chapeau. The Marshal wears a Green Cloth Backer to be worn directly behind the Fourth Degree Medal Badge affixed to the Official Color Corps beret.
The Jewel for the 4th degree officers are suspended from a red, white, and blue ribbon. Each contains the 4th Degree Emblem and title of the Officer's position. The Assembly is structured in much the same manner as a Council.
Below is a chart that shows the 4th Degree Assembly Officer's title and the 3rd Degree Council equivalent.
Assembly Officer Title
Council Officer Title
Faithful Inner Sentinel
Faithful Outer Sentinel
Faithful Trustee 3rd Year
Faithful Trustee 2nd Year
Faithful Trustee 1st Year
|Worthy Grand Knight
Worthy Deputy Grand Knight
Worthy Financial Secretary
Worthy Inside Guard
Worthy Outside Guard
Worthy Trustee 3rd Year
Worthy Trustee 2nd Year
Worthy Trustee 1st Year
Explanation of the colors of capes and chapeau worn by the
Fourth Degree when in full regalia, and what these colors signify.
Once a Sir Knight attains an office, he is entitled to wear the colors of that office until elected or appointed to a higher office, except for the Marshal [appointed by the Master of District] and the Color Corps Commanders [appointed by the Faithful Navigator] who are appointed for a specific term and then revert to their previous colors when that term expires.
When a Fourth Degree Member or Color Corp Member is dressed in his tuxedo there are seven miniature jewels he may wear if he validly holds the title of a Past or Former Officer. Six of the seven jewels are shown below. The one for Former Supreme Director is missing. They are from left to right:
Past State Deputy
Former District Deputy
Past Grand Knight
Past Faithful Navigator
Former Vice-Supreme Master