A uniform is a set of standard
clothing worn by members of an
organization whilst participating in that
People performing religious
activities have often worn standard costumes since the dawn of recorded
history. Other early examples of uniforms include the clothing of the armies
of the Roman Empire and other civilizations.
Modern uniforms are worn by armed forces and other paramilitary organisations
such as police, emergency services, security guards, in some workplaces
and schools, and by inmates in prisons.
One purpose of military uniforms is to clearly distinguish combatants
who are protected by the laws of war from other persons carrying weapons,
who enjoy no such protection. Another purpose in historical times was to
make it difficult for deserters to avoid detection; military uniforms were
so distinctive with many metal buttons and unique colors that they could
not be modified into unrecognizable clothing.
Originally, the typical colour scheme included bright and high contrast
colour arrangements which made the uniforms visible in battles with much
smoke from gunpowder. However, with the growing prevalence of accurate rifles
and other ranged firearms as standard weapons for infantry, it was found
in the Crimean War that these colours made soldiers easy targets for enemies
to shoot at a distance. In reaction, the various militaries, beginning with
the British, changed the colours, predominantly to such ones that blended
in more with the terrain (like
khaki) for the purposes of camouflage.
In addition, this idea was followed with uniforms suitable for particular
climates and seasons such as white for snowy regions and tan for sandy ones.
Prison uniforms often consist of a distinctive orange or yellow jumpsuit
or a white and black zebra striped uniform to make escape more difficult.
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