It is with a heavy heart that I report the recent decision on the part of the Knights of Columbus, Supreme headquarters, that the familiar cape and chapeau can no longer be utilized by members of the Knights of Columbus Color Corps. As of 30 June 2019, the cape and chapeau can no longer be worn by Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree Color Corps at official events.
For well over seventy-five years, the Knights of Columbus announced their presence at parades, celebrations, funerals, etc. with the iconic cape , chapeau and sword. You could look at a crowd of many thousands and know instantly that the Knights of Columbus were present by the variously colored capes and chapeaus.
These uniforms were historically passed from one generation to another and worn with pride, knowing the Knight's father or grandfather previously wore the same cape and chapeau.In what many of the current members of the Knights of Columbus consider an ill-advised decision, the cape and chapeau were replaced with a non-descript dark suit and beret. Hardly visible in a crowd, the new uniform is more reminiscent of a foreign military uniform, or Boy Scout uniform.
The familiar sight of many Knights of Columbus Fourth Degree at funerals and rosaries, in their colorful capes, chapeaus and swords honoring their deceased brother knights will be a thing of the past. I for one, and I think I speak for many family members of Knights of Columbus, will miss this final demonstration of honor for a faithful and loyal Knight of Columbus.