Which Knights of Columbus 4th Degree Color Guard Uniform Do You Prefer?

KoC in parishes I have been in is like the Masons for Catholics. They run a lot of fundraisers such as fish fries in Lent and spaghetti dinners the rest of the year. They participate in special Masses like when Padre Pio’s relics or the Bishop come around. They also often participate in community events like having a booth at the local street fair to raise money for the Church or for charity.

Edited to add, I forgot the insurance part though I’m not sure that is so key anymore now that people have lots of places to get insurance and widows have better support.

And they do often have a social/ prayer club function as well so men can hang out with other men from their parish.

Thank y’all for enlightening me. :slight_smile:

Yes, similar to “Woodsmen of the World”, “the International Order of Oddfellows”, "the Foresters (also Catholic), etc.

Yes, one does have to be a male Catholic in good standing to join the KofC.

I am fourth degree, but not in the Color Corp. I prefer the new outfits. The old outfits (I am told) are extremely hot at times, and the men sweat a lot. To my eye they look like something out of Europe 150 years ago, rather than something contemporary for the US. (Don’t know what the European Knights think of it).

Even though only a small fraction of Knights belong to the Color Corp, some people in general think all Knights wear that uniform, and I think that is a deterrent to joining.

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BY FAR the biggest component of the KofC is their insurance sales. Google a look at their HQ sometimes. It’s not an HQ building of a fraternal organization but one of a large insurance company.


Interesting, thanks for the info.
My dad was not in KoC as he focused on the VFW so I mostly just see them at events.
Their fish fries are usually the bomb.

I take it back. I might be tempted to wear platemail :smile:

One place I really think the KofC blew it is how the new uniform is sourced. Rather than define a black beret, a navy blue blazer and grey slacks – where they would then sell you a patch kit, a baldric and a tie (and possibly a saber and a scabbard), they made the uniform “integral” so it’s still pricey for what it is. Bad move.

They should have made it so members should put together their own uniforms – particularly for young members.

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My husband is a 4th degree knight but has never been part of the color guard.All the feathers etc were a bit over the top IMO. I prefer the new outfit

That would sort of defeat the idea of a “uniform”, where the members of the organization are dressed in a uniform fashion for an event.

I think the uniforms are optional anyhow for K of C members, not required for them to be in good standing.

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No, that’s not true. They could specific (for instance) 2 button, navy blue, center vent, blazer. The specification could be even more detailed than that – but still very easy to find at a much, much lower price.

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There are 2 somewhat different levels of organization.

There is the “council”. Everyone who joins the KofC makes their first degree at a council, and belongs to a council as long as they are a Knight. Some go on to make their second, and some their third degree. Anyone who has made their first degree is a knight. That is one organization, the council.

Some of those who made their third degree also go on to make 4th degree. They belong to an Assembly, with its own officers (though many are past or present officers of councils, too, and all are still members of councils). Of those who are 4th degree, some join its “color corp”. They are the only ones who wear any kind of uniforms. This is a small fraction of the total K of C.

4th degree members wear this uniform, but only the 4th degree color guard wear the sword/scabbard, gloves and I think the baldric. I would hope that ALL KofCers (1st-4th degree) would adopt the beret/hat/blazer/tie/grey slacks.

Now the Knights of Columbus can finally dress like 1990s African Warlords!

No uniform for 4th degree members, outside the color corp. The color corp is the only ones who do any kind of “ceremonial” activity. I think many years ago every 4th degree member had to borrow a sword for his own ceremony installed into the 4th degree, and they may have worn a tux for that ceremony.
But no uniform per se, unless they join the color corp.

My mistake… It would be nice if more knights of all levels wore a uniform to parish functions. Like so many other service/fraternal organizations inside and outside the Church, their numbers are seem to be fewer and fewer in many parishes and dioceses.

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I got it. More of a dress code, as opposed to a uniform, but distinctive enough that people know that you belong.

Everyone wearing the same color combination, where its unlikely that very many non-members would randomly pick the same choices.

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“Seem” is the operative word here. In actuality, the membership of the K of C is rising. Fraternal organizations in general have fewer active members, its not just the knights. The Shriners are with their miniature cars at the Memorial Day parade here in Pittsburgh, and they have a fairly large contingency marching. But out of 50 or 60 guys, there are only 3 or 4 that are younger than I am. And I’m 61.

So is “active.” I don’t doubt that the KofC is doing well from a membership/insurance sales standpoint. But their impact in parishes definitely seems to be waning. The Masons are hurting even worse – and they have no insurance component.

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