Feb 23, 2014 - Cubmaster Chrispy
There are several flaws with this ceremony. Namely, the state and pack colors should be "posted" first. The American flag should always be posted last. Also, those in attendance should hold their salutes until the colors are posted.
Mar 26, 2014 - Neal Swartzmiller
The comment by Cubmaster Chrispy is incorrect. The US flag is always the first to be raised (or posted) and the last to be lowered (or reteived). Review this official site of flag etiquette...specifically this section where mutiple flags are displayed:
Apr 09, 2014 - Patricia Johnson
I can't find an answer for this situation anywhere and I have been searching the internet. What do I do with a Scout that that has a totally immovable arm (full arm cast-can't move it at all))when it comes to saluting? And what do I do if I ever get an amputee or paralyzed scout regarding saluting? In the case of the Scout with the cast he wanted to salute the flag, couldn't, and asked if he could use his left arm. Any answers?
Apr 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Patricia - There's nothing wrong with him simply standing at attention while the others salute. If he prefers to salute with his left arm, that is ok. Whichever way feels most comfortable to him.
Either way, someone might question it, but the only current guideline is to salute with the right arm. So, precise interpretation would be if there's no right arm, no salute can be done.
May 20, 2014 - Ranger Rick
Out of curiosity, does the BSA allow rifle bearers in a color guard?
May 22, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Rick - Are there other non-military groups that would have rifles in a flag procession? I have only seen them in military processions.
How does having Scouts bear arms in this manner support any of the Aims or Methods of Scouting?
I don't see the tie-in between rifle bearing and Scouting and would not do it.
May 26, 2014 - Hunter Deal
I've seen rifles carried by Boy Scouts in a color guard procession, but there was a naval lieutenant there leading and supervising it. Also they wouldn't have been real working rifles, they would have been dummy rifles that are made to be carried and spun.
May 26, 2014 - Ranger Rick
@Scouter Paul - I didn't think that it would be allowed. I ask because there's some guy from the church where my troop is chartered who insists that rifles belong in a Boy Scout color guard. He's been "training" several of the scouts in my troop and quite frankly, I don't think it's very appropriate to be imposing military drill on scouts who are barely 16. I'm not anti-military by any means, I have a long history of Marines and Sailors in my family and I'm working on enlisting in the Navy myself. However, military drill belongs in the military and not scouts. This isn't 1912. Thanks!
May 26, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Rick - Your views sound reasonable to me. Good luck!
Jul 01, 2014 - @Ranger Rick
It was my understanding that Baden Powell didn't call them the Boy "Scouts" for nothing. Scouts learn bushcraft, cooking, rifle and bow shooting, patriotism, reverence, etc. All qualities desired in the dangerous role of a military scout. Note that picnics aren't as popular as "Capture the Flag". That said, it should not be the ROTC either.
Jul 14, 2014 - Scouter John
Our non-scouting color guard group uses swords or rifles in our color guard. The point is that the honor guard on the outside of the flags are symbolically supposed to be guarding the flag under arms. That said, I believe that it is perfectly ok for a Scout honor guard to symbolically guard the flag without carrying arms. Is it permissible for BSA to allow rifle bearers in a color guard, I suspect not and suggest looking at BSA's firearm policy for appropriate times for scouts to be carrying firearms.
Aug 01, 2014 - Scouter Dale
Quote from BSA: "The wearing of special helmets, scarves, gloves, unofficial leggings, and the carrying of ceremonial guns or swords by members of such organizations using the uniforms of the Boy Scouts of America is in violation of the Rules and Regulations of the Boy Scouts of America."
The ONLY place a firearm is allowed with Scouts is on a firing range. Period. Fake firearms or swords are not part of a Scout uniform. Ranger Rick and others above have said that this isn't the JROTC. If they want to do a color guard with rifles, tell them to join the local JROTC and leave off making the BSA into a junior training camp for military. It isn't.
Aug 01, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Dale - Hey, thanks for sharing that page address! My search for rifles and firearms missed that.
Sep 23, 2014 - Cubmaster Steve
This isn't the military, so rifles are inappropriate. However, a Guard for the flags is completely appropriate (even in the military). When the colors are to be posted in a church/synagogue/place of worship, the carrying of weapons is completely inappropriate...tack on the regulations quoted above and we're pretty much outside of carrying weapons under any circumstances. While it's neat, it IS prohibited and we shouldn't do it.
The question of a scout salute when an arm is bandaged/incapacitated boils down to "do your best". I wouldn't expect someone confined to a wheelchair to stand. If someone is attempting to honor the flag and they are not being disrespectful, leave 'em alone :-)
Sep 23, 2014 - Anthony
The restriction on gun carry cited by Scouter Dale is targeted to outside organizations Drill teams, clubs, etc. wearing BSA uniforms to perform their ceremonies.
Basically the BSA does not want outside organizations showing up, donning BSA uniforms, and doing their ceremonies.
The uniform guide does NOT say that BSA members cannot use a ceremonial rifle to perform a flag ceremony. If that was the intent of the guide the language would have clearly said so. It does not.
Baden Powell was a military man and set up an military oriented Scouting organization. They used and sponsored rifle use as part of ceremonies in his time and it has long continued. The uniform guide does not restrict the use by BSA members but to outside organizations wearing BSA uniforms. If your not precise you don't see the difference but it is clear in the language and obviously important because it answers the question. Yes, ceremonial rifles can be carried by BSA members in uniform.
Sep 23, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Anthony - The only people specifically allowed to wear the BSA uniform are registered BSA members. So, no "outside organization" would be wearing it.
The portion of the Insignia Guide referenced by Scouter Dale is specifically directed at BSA members that are "members of bands, drill teams, or drum and bugle corps affiliated with a unit or a local council".
That means, for example, Troop 58's Drum and Bugle Corps is supposed to wear their BSA uniform when performing, and they are not to carry guns or swords. Since these BSA-affiliated teams are not permitted to carry ceremonial rifles, I would use that same guidance for flag ceremonies and all other BSA activities.
The only instance I'm aware of in which BSA members can use simulated firearms is when participating in historical re-enactments.