Re: AFS Scouts
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Wed, 7 Sep 1994 01:35:49 CST
Ian Ford <ianford@DIRCON.CO.UK> writes:
>I hate to take issue with Mike Bowman , but I think that his advice that
>a non-citizen should not salute the US Flag is incorrect. IMHO it is
>right and proper to pay respect to <all> national flags and national anthems.
Ian is absolutely correct. It is common courtsey to pay respect to
ALL national anthems and to treat all flags with the appropriate
respect as it is to bow you heads when a prayer or blessing is
offered, no matter the denomination or faith of the person performing
It's part of the BSA's "courteous" point of our Scout Law.
>If in uniform the correct form of respect is to salute during the raising
>or lowering of colors, the playing of national anthems , and in the US
>the recital of the Pledge. There are occasions when the salute consists of
>standing to attention only, e.g. when the national anthem is played in a
>place of worship. ( At least, that's British usage)
There are two rules of thumb here. International Law says that
uniformed members of any nation (police, fire, military and scouts,
for example) are to stand at attention or in an erect position when
the anthem of any nation is being played and if possible, to face the
flag of that nation. Only those citizens of that nation is required
to salute or present honors (for instance, in many African nations,
the right clinched fist against the heart as a sign of defiant
respect; in some others, to bow their heads when the song is
played)...and that's because only those citizens really know what is
*expected* whenever the anthem or flag is displayed.
Military protocol says that any member of the Armed Forces will stand
at attention and face the music or flag during the rendering of the
anthem or honors, whether friend or foe. This was illustrated during
the recent "operation" in Somalia whereby American military forces
had to not only stand at attention and salute the American flag but
also had to stand at attention while the Somilie (sp) anthem was
played, a long nine minute song which I understand has no real melody
(and folks complain about OURS!!) as well to stand while the UN flag
was being rasied each day.
Military members only salute in formation when official dignitaries
from that country is present and only when the honors include the
presentation of the United States National Anthem as well as the
anthem of the other nations. An example of this is when the President
welcomes the Prime Minister or other head-of-state from other nations
on the lawn of the White House and appropriate honors, including the
21 gun salute is rendered.
As Scouts, we need to be aware of what other nations constitute
"honoring their flag". In most cases, as Ian wrote, it is as simple
as what one would do in a religious setting: respect the right of
others to render respect for their state and not speaking nor moving
while the honor is being rendered.
American citizens, as a general rule, are NOT required to salute other
nation's flags but can do so as a sign of respect and honor toward the
other nation. We ARE required however, to show our respect and honor
toward ALL nations's flags and anthems by standing as straight as
possible and facing the flag or the music which is being played.
This is the reason why on many overseas bases, you may be cited (and
in some nations, jailed) if you fail to leave your vehicle while
"retreat" is being played. On those bases, not only is the United States'
flag lowered, but also the "host nation's flag" as well. Turkey and
Italy are really notorious for fining or jailing those that don't want
to get wet or cold for a minute each day at 5pm local time!
>US Scouts here in UK salute when the Union Flag is broken (unfurled) not as
>a sign of allegiance but as a sign of respect, and I think it is
>important that is understood.
It's a good lesson for them as well to learn.
>Mike Walton will probably back this up with his military experience.
>Certainly here in UK at Colors appropriate honors are rendered by USAF to
>both national colors and during the playing of the anthems.
GREAT question, whomever raised it!!
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
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