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Outdoor Colorguard History

The colorguard has its roots in military history, when service marching bands would march with the American flag and the unit guidon, guarded by rifles and/or sabers.


      School marching bands started with this same format, but realized the visual potential of the colorguard, and expanded the unit to a flag corps, with separate weapon lines.  Up until the 1970s, many bands still retained the practice of parading the national colors on the field during their shows. Marching  band competitions included severe penalties in the rules for violating US flag code for those bands who chose to use the national colors, but failed to guard it correctly!


      In the 1970s, a radical change in the way the guard was used took place. Instead of using the flags to merely present the schools colors, guard designers began focusing on the content of the music, using a much broader range of colors in their flags. With the introduction of winterguards, or indoor guards, in the late 1970s, the guard evolved even further away from its military beginnings. Uniform designs changed from merely echoing the band uniform, providing guard members better freedom of movement for spinning as well as more color and variety on the field.


      In the 1980s, largely due to the influence of indoor guard, guards began basing their movement on dance, using ballet and jazz techniques instead of traditional military marching. This affected flag design as well, and guard uniforms are now more dancewear than military uniforms.  At the same time, a shift in thinking brought together the flag, saber and rifle lines. A guard member who was not trained in all three pieces of equipment, known as the 'triad' was not considered fully developed. Props began to be used as a way to enhance the show design, and these elements were all adopted by marching bands in their shows.     


          With the move to themed shows, storytelling and a focus on theatrical elements in modern marching band shows, the colorguard is the obvious choice to present these ideas and connect with the audience both visually and emotionally. While we still call the guard the "auxiliary"', they play often play the central role in bringing the halftime show alive and entertaining the audience!

Indoor Colorguard History

The Indoor Colorguard is sponsored by the Escambia High School Band Booster Organization. The colorguard has been known by several different names throughout its' long and distinguished history, but is now known simply as the Escambia High Indoor Guard. This reflects their Scholastic Class status, and their mission of representing the Escambia High School and the band program. 

The name of the first indoor colorguard at EHS was Las Banderas. They performed mainly in the southeastern colorguard circuit and went to the WGI Olympics in Boston in 1980, where they placed 10th in Class 'A' with a score of 66.53. 

In 1981 The guard shortened its' name to just Banderas. This was the first year of the newly formed Gulf Coast Colorguard Circuit. Banderas performed all over the gulf coast from Florida to Louisiana. The 1981 guard placed first at the WGI Southern Regionals, with a score of 75.43, the highest 'A' Class score in the country.  They were the Gulf Coast Circuit champions and went on to the WGI Olympics in Syracuse NY. and placed 2nd in the world in the Independent 'A' class with a score of 77.83. 

1982 saw a big style change for Banderas and the audience LOVED it! The instructors Alan Casey and Michael Sambogna had to move away from Pensacola and the guard was ran by the infamous Nan Treutel or NACO as the guard called her. The guard was 2nd at circuit championships and 6th in the Independent 'A' class at the WGI Olympics in Nashville TN with a score of 73.46. 

It took a couple of years before there was another indoor guard at EHS. And this time they were just known as the Escambia High School Colorguard. Roy Lancaster was the instructor for the guards' return in 1985. 

The next time the guard would appear in finals they were known as Donatar. They placed 6th in 1994 with a final score of 66.40. 

Donatar would greatly improve their ranking in 1995. Under the direction of Stephen Jones, with show design by Skip Kelly, the guard performed to a haunting soundtrack from the Bulgarian Women's Chorus. Donatar would place 2nd in Scholastic 'A' class at the WGI World Championships with a score of 93.90. 

It would take seven years for Donatar to return to finalist status. In 2002 they placed 12th in Scholastic 'A' class with a score of 85.90.

Colorguard Directors and Staff

Colorguard Directors - Brittney Britt & Whittney Britt

Colorguard Tech - Karin Roberts