Re: Flag Retiring Questions
Wed, 14 Jun 1995 12:45:58 PDT
I envy you for having 40 Flags for final display and retirement.
A flag retiring is a very good way to end a campfire. However, I would not
retire more then 3 flags at a single campfire. You not only use them up to
fast, but the event loose sincerity if you do to many at a time. Remember,
the people you do this for are the boys.
There is nothing wrong with keeping a small stock to have some flags for
> participation was solicited
> our local daily paper advising
Sounds very unusual. I think flag retirements should not be public. Doing
this in public would open to many questions and people might think you are
demonstrating instead of giving the flags an honorable rest. Discussion, even
when you can convince the doubters always looks disruptive.
> It also detailed the ceremony, from the final flying of
I never like to announce the details of ceremony; it takes your liberty away to
adapt the ceremony to the circumstances.
Personally I wouldn't give the flags a last flying. I'm not sure it would look
sincere enough (and given how much patience scouts have). But, since I would
retire flags at a campfire when it is dark, flying them wouldn't make sense
> Well, the local American Legion Commander has gone ballistic.
To bad. I propose to ignore him
> He refuse to allow his people to participate
Good for you. A ceremony is more sincere and more memorable for the scouts if
other people are absent.
> He refuses to allow his people to participate
Why do they need his permission?
> He says until I can show him in writing
Sounds pretty grandiose
> where such a ceremony is legal
In what country does he live?
> he will consider us as "dishonoring the memory
The people who gave their lives to protect the honor of America have more
benefit from your sincere try, and, what you do with your scouts then from
anybodys ritualistic consideration of honor. The flag is only a symbol, but
the boys are IT.
> He then referred to the "American Legion Officers Manual" as the _definitive
> authority_ on
It may be his personal definitive authority. As much as I'm concerned, the
definite authority in such matters is the Constitution, the Law, and, the Cub
Scout Leader Book. In this order.
Anyway, it does you no good to antagonize those patriotic organization more
then necessary. Why don't you invite each such organization in a friendly
letter to send an OBSERVER to verify that you will give each flag the honour
it deserves. (Observers do not take an active part in the ceremony, nor do
they give speaches. You don't need to say this in the letter if they don't want
to read that; but it is really part of the meaning of the word observer.).
> THROUGH PRIVATE E-MAIL
I didn't read that. But I'll send you a copy by e-mail anyway.
> Any information
You found "in a respectful manner." mentioned somewhere. In my opinion this
gives you the legal right to do it, in a respectful manner. You also have lots of
precedents of scouts retiring flags which should protect you from being singled
> Advise as how to defuse this situation
Don't go ballistic yourself.
Offer them to send observers in a friendly toned letter.
You are NOT asking anybody for permission. You are simply informing them
as friendly interested organizations.
Treat each organization separately. Do not let one nasty guy speak for other people.
Like you are doing with your message: find an ally within the organization of the
Forget to inform him about things for which you don't want his comments.
> I am really nervous guys are going to show up and picket our ceremony or otherwise be
Don't be paranoid. In the very unlikely case they really do that, you still can call the
local law enforcement. If you really are worried, make your ceremony on a piece of Boy
Scout owned land, where a disruption wouldn't only be a disruption and a dishonoring
of the flag, but also plain trespassing.
> but my main goal here is to protect the reputation of the Boy Scouts in our community.
The tone how you talk to them may matter more then what you say.
This goes both ways: do not give them the idea they have any rights to dictate to Boy
Scouts or anybody else. Your successor will be gratefull.
> BTW: I also fought for the honor of America
Tell him; he might look at you in a different light. This might be the trick which lets
him give in to you without loosing face.
Who am I to give you advise in matters of flags...
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City