History defines Culture, Tradition, and Customs

History, culture, traditions, customs, and storytelling are all relatively important elements of being a Kentucky colonel. The ideal of receiving the commission of a Kentucky colonel encompasses all of these ideals at both a personal and state level contributing to the sense of pride one feels upon receiving the award.

We thought it would be nice that we define our understanding for you here, because they are important terms that we use throughout our website. To read about our history please see our "About Us" section or to read about the history of Kentucky colonels other parts of this section of the website.

Ideals Defined

  • History is the past as it is described in written documents, and the study thereof. "History" is an umbrella term that relates to past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of information about these events. Scholars who write about history are called historians. Kentucky colonels are responsible for understanding the facts to the best of their knowledge regarding the rich history of the state.
  • Culture is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and norms found in human societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, customs, capabilities and habits of the individuals in these groups. People acquire culture through the learning processes of enculturation and socialization, which is shown by the diversity of cultures across societies. Culture serves as a guideline for behavior, dress, language, and demeanor.
  • Traditions are beliefs or behaviors (folk customs) passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. A component of folklore, common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes, but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word tradition itself derives from the Latin tradere literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether that be cultural, over short periods of time.
  • Customs or social norms are regarded as collective representations of acceptable group conduct as well as individual perceptions of particular group conduct. They can be viewed as cultural products (including values, customs, and traditions) which represent individuals' basic knowledge of what others do and think that they should do. From a sociological perspective, social norms are informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society. A legal custom is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law". Related is the idea of prescription; a right enjoyed through long custom rather than positive law.
  • Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing history and stories sometimes with improvisation, theatrics, or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation or instilling moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view.

Kentucky colonels are well-known to be reliable storytellers and use history frequently to enhance their ideals and perspectives as goodwill ambassadors to promote, emulate, and reinforce traditions and customs that foster positive social values of the state.