The two flags were the centre of the show. One, maroon - the Regimental Colours, and the second, a Kenyan flag - the Presidential Colour.
It wasn’t the Kenyan flag as you are used to it. Its seams were embroidered and, in place of the shield, was the Coat of Arms. On the top right corner, the number 21 for the 21 Battalion of The Kenya Rifles was emblazoned in gold.
In the middle of the field at Ulinzi Sports Complex in Lang’ata Garrison, the two flags were put before military officers and prayers were said before they were handed to President Uhuru Kenyatta who then officially handed them over.
This happened yesterday as President Kenyatta presided over the Kenya Defence Forces consecration, presentation and trooping of colours by the 21 Battalion of the Kenya Rifles at Langata Garrison in Nairobi.
Uhuru said the award of colours to all the three battalions that constitute the 6th Brigade of the Kenya Army during his tenure is a significant milestone in enabling KDF to deliver on its mandate of defending and protecting Kenya’s territorial integrity.
The 21 Battalion of the Kenya Rifles is an Infantry Unit of the 6th Infantry Brigade formed in 2016 and is based at the Laikipia KDF Range.
The event where officers performed elaborate military drills marked by a parade, marching and prayers was preceded by the opening of the Kenya Army Band headquarters and the Kenya Defence Forces School of Music.
He said the trooping of colours is not only intended to fete national values but also to celebrate KDF track record of diligently discharging their mandate.
The event was the third and last presentation and trooping of colours event by President Kenyatta before he leaves office.
The event came as the military unit prepares to relocate from their Mariakani Base to Manda in Lamu County where Uhuru said it will partner with Kenya Navy and the multi-agency team operating in the area to safeguard Kenya’s maritime border and ensure the safety of residents.
“Together with the Kenya Navy Base Manda, the Unit will establish a permanent presence in Boni Forest from where it will secure the border areas and support Manda Base in executing Maritime defence within an already existing Multi Agency framework,” Uhuru said. “The Unit will also support in providing security to the population in Lamu County.”
Chief of Defence Forces General Robert Kibochi expressed gratitude to President Kenyatta for having supported KDF in achieving its mandate by providing adequate resources, guidance and leadership.
He challenged the new battalion to go forth and fulfill its mandate saying the government and Kenyans expect the unit to complement others in ensuring the country’s security.