Expressions like this betray their military origin. They are so ordered for reasons of filing (originally in a paper filing system rather than a computer).
For example, if there is a store-room that contains items of clothing, the arrangement
doesn't make a lot of sense because not all items of clothing necessarily have the full range of colours. Also we tend to store similar types of clothing together rather than matching colours. Therefore it is convenient to arrange them as follows:
In fact this idea is carried to extremes by the armed forces who completely reverse the normal order almost to comical effect. (I'll try to find an example)
Update: 19 Sep 2015
For once my Googling skills have deserted me. I have completely failed to find an example of the terminology used in a typical quartermasters store. I shall therefore make something up.
A list of army clothing, instead of saying something like:
"black boots for the use of officers"
would instead list them as
"boots, black, officers, for the use of"
Perhaps someone who has been in the forces can help me out with this.