Etymology
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colors (n.)

"flag of a regiment or ship" 1580s, from color (n.). Hence color-guard (1820), originally the soldiers assigned to guard the colors of the regiment, color-bearer(1855), the one who carries the regimental flag, and to do something with flying colors "successfully" (1690s).

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Definitions of colors

colors (n.)
a flag that shows its nationality;
Synonyms: colours
colors (n.)
a distinguishing emblem;
his tie proclaimed his school colors
Synonyms: colours
From wordnet.princeton.edu