Kentucky Colonel: Historic Icon Evokes Imagination

A Kentucky Colonelcy is a Great Honor to Behold

There are few things that date back in American History (Americana) that inspire a more commanding and iconic image than the idea of the Kentucky Colonel. The "Colonel" is a truly remarkable character that evokes imagination of great pioneers and statesmen like Col. Daniel Boone, Col. Isaac Shelby, Col. Henry Clay and Col. Abraham Lincoln: Kentucky's four most beloved historical figures and leaders. We are certain based on publicly available information that the Honorable Title: Kentucky Colonel became so well known based on the actions and accomplishments of these great men (and others) that Governor William O'Connell Bradley made the Honorable Title a Civilian Office (honorary position) to recognize the accomplishments of its most important and authoritative citizens, as well as to further disconnect it with the ideals of the Military Colonel Rank which started in 1802.

Today this idea of the great title, Kentucky Colonel also brings other things to mind like:

  • Kentucky Colonels Basketball team
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (Colonel Sanders)
  • Kentucky Colonel Club (1903)
  • A Kentucky Colonel (Bestseller 1890)
  • Old Kentucky Colonel (Bourbon)
  • The Kentucky Colonels (Bluegrass Group) 
  • Eastern Kentucky Colonels (EKU Sports Teams)
  • Kentucky Derby (Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels® 1813/1933)
  • Kentucky Colonels® Store (Lexington)
  • Google Search shows 900+ individual entities for "Kentucky Colonel" and "Kentucky Colonels" that are all unrelated to each other.

Let's Disambiguate the Reality and End the Confusion

The first thing that the search engines like Google and Bing as well as all these organizations, would-be claimants and title porters need to do is understand where the colonel came from and not be confused. All of those businesses, organizations and products which ambiguate the idea, all show deference to the Kentucky Colonel Commission the document without qualification, and the first colonels that founded Kentucky which in common-law can only be expressed as "Kentucky Colonel™", an unregulated semantic application of the Title Mark or Trademark under US Law:

  1. Kentucky Colonel is the Honorable Title and Office granted to a person by the Governor
  2. The Title: Kentucky Colonel provides unnamed benefits through its use.
  3. The Kentucky Colonel Commission guarantees "rights, privileges and responsibilities"
  4. Legally, Kentucky Colonel is a title of office (civilian) that is not a military rank. 
  5. Kentucky Colonel the Title, is reminiscent to the Authority and Patronage of its Founders.

There is a much greater list over more than 1,000 things that can be found on the Internet that are not a "KENTUCKY COLONEL™" in law and none are Kentucky colonels that actually work with the office of "Kentucky Colonelcy™" that are "Kentucky Colonelling™" after they have been "Kentucky Colonelled™" as the "Head of a Colony, County or Company" lost to time, but they can be with their titles.

We became interested in disambiguating the "First Kentucky Colonels", "Original Kentucky Colonels", "Official Kentucky Colonels" and the "Real Kentucky Colonels" when we uncovered that the "Kentucky Colonel" that the "Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels" beholds never became a colonel in 1813, under those circumstances or as the story has been told. We had to continue the research to find out which colonel came first and we found 500 before 1813.

Painting of First Kentucky Colonel Daniel Boone
First Kentucky Colonel Daniel Boone, Commissioned in March 1775 on the Wilderness Road

Office, Person and Title vs Products or Services called "Kentucky Colonels"

The term "Kentucky Colonels" has also been registered as a trademark for products under 10 different classes of merchandise (hundreds of products) by the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, which seem to feel some sort of an entitlement to a term they have labelled and mistaken for their own with a fictitious pseudohistory of impossible mythical militia origins. Since 1992, they have threatened to take legal actions bullying more than 30 different companies and individual colonels who have used the terms "Kentucky Colonel" or "Kentucky Colonels". They have been in Federal Court twice once against Governor John Y. Brown's Kentucky Colonels' basketball team company called "Building Champions" in 2003 and once against Kentucky Colonels International in 2020; both times they lost their case.

In 2020, the HOKC or Honorable Order as they are often referred to by colonels, took me "Col. David Wright", "other colonels, and our organization to the US District Court with 11 months of contentious litigation which was resolved in my favor when the case HOKC v KCI case was dismissed with prejudice; when the reality was understood that the facts dug up from the historical record predetermined their fate. Other attorneys believe the HOKC filed the entire case as a SLAPP suit to prevent our activities from dominating their own. 

They did gain recognition for their use of "KENTUCKY COLONELS" as a registered trademark, but that simply means the mark is allowed to represent something that is not a "KENTUCKY COLONEL" in its reality as "KENTUCKY COLONELS" and "only they" are permitted to use the MARKS they registered in commerce and for non-commercial use under the specified 11 classes. We said again, sure OK fine. They are still a group of individuals that are misappropriating history and diminishing the effectivity of the "Honorable Title" KENTUCKY COLONEL, their motivation of helping Kentucky with colonels is diluting the "rights, privileges, and responsibilities" in law of the Honorable Title itself, thousands of colonels remain concerned of the 350,000+ in the world today.  

Let's Follow the US District Court Order 

Let's not confuse the "real use" of the title and person: KENTUCKY COLONEL or the office (actions) of KENTUCKY COLONELCY mentioned in Paragraph 5 of the Agreed Permanent Injunction become confused with Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, or 4 about KENTUCKY COLONELS (products and services) referring to things other than actual "Kentucky colonels". What should be most important though to a colonel is the preservation and integrity of the title. The Title should not be ambiguated by following the order, but if the parties of the order stray from this either side could be subject under Title 15 U.S. Code § 1125 - False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden can apply to any one of them by infringing on the trademark or passing off a fictitious origin as fact with a product that harms the state's actual heritage. The Kentucky Colonel Title cannot afford to be confused with 11 classes of products and thousands of items, that was the purpose of getting the ® symbol to better distinguish their products, but instead the confusion continues on the part of the HOKC confusing themselves and their products to pass them off as original or relative to the Real Kentucky Colonel from American history.

This means it is probably safe for the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels to be the type of colonels that they want to be with their mistaken 1813 vacated militia order starting in 1933, it is just for fun at Derby and helps charity in the state, but it should not be mistaken as anything official at all. While myself and our group of history buffs, researchers, diplomats and intellectual property experts believe and have proven without any doubt a completely different story that starts in 1775 through 1927, and a completely different origin story which includes the state's most famous colonels. 

Historically we discovered that between 1775-1790 that there were almost 400 colonels living in Kentucky, we also know that "Old Kentucky" founded by Col. Daniel Boone and Col. Judge Richard Henderson as well as 1792-1799 Kentucky was founded exclusively by colonels, selecting Col. Isaac Shelby as their governor in 1791. Knowing as much as we do today, there is no reason that any good Kentucky colonel should repeat the Origin Story of the Mythical Militia of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. What is questionable is whether the HOKC values more the integrity of the Honorable Title or if they just want more customers for its independently owned promotional products store.

We are not going to contribute to the confusion at all, we never wanted to in the first place, we have never said something that was not a colonel, was, or vice-versa and have never passed off fiction as fact, except when we believed the HOKC Background Story of 1813 ourselves until 2019. Our focus since 2021 has become the source of the HISTORIC KENTUCKY COLONELS of 1775 in Madison County at Boonesborough, and the TRUE ORIGIN STORY of KENTUCKY as ECOLOGY CROSSROADS with the TRANSYLVANIA COMPANY program as our cooperative entity. We will be in the publishing business, work as a cooperative and only employ those who hold a KENTUCKY COLONEL COMMISSION.

So if someone asks, "Which came first the Colonel or Kentucky?" now you know the answer. If you want to learn more about Kentucky colonels visit our website network.

Next Post Previous Post