Can a color team use rifles with bayonets or even use swords or sabers?
As the title suggests, flags and sharp objects do not go well together! Never ever, ever, ever put bayonets on rifles or march swords/sabers for a color team!
When a color catches the tip and the wind drags the color across so there is either a nice big rip, run, snag or pulled thread(s) that ruins the color, don’t you dare whine.
There is a reason why rifles with mounted bayonets or swords/sabers are not in pictures in any of the service drill and ceremonies manuals. The color guard pictures only show rifles for the guards. Period.
Somewhere in my office here in my house I have a picture of me on the Davis-Monthan Base Honor guard back in the early 90s. The picture is of the color team I am on presenting the colors for Arizona Senator John McCain when he visited the base. The Senator and Base commander are in the background and the color team is at the front of the photo with the wind blowing the colors back. Neat photo. Until you see that we were actually dumb enough to have bayonets on our 1903s! Now, it’s a little embarrassing, but we didn’t realize back then and had no guidance.
No bayonets and no swords or sabers. The ONLY exception to this is NCO swords/sabers are authorized for a mounted color team.