scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Re: Flag Day
Bill Pettus (PettusW@CS.COM
Sat Jun 24 2000 - 10:59:10 CDT
It is so hard to stay out of some of these conversations online, especially
when they go on forever.
Any dignified way of "Retiring" the Flag is acceptable.
It is "Retiring" the flag not 'burning' the flag.
Our district Retires six to seven HUNDRED flags yearly at our annual Flag
Retirement at Barancas National Cemetery. We have as many as 100 scouts
involved in the proceedings. Their is a parade of units caring patrol flags
in to the area where the Retirement will take place. We do an opening with
the pledge of allegiance. The designated SPL for the Retirement reports to
the Retirement SM and asks permission to begin the ceremony and is giver
permission to begin. The American Flag that is carried in the parade by the
honor guard is rolled on its stand and covered with a hood of cloth.
"All" the boys wear white gloves, all 70 or 80 of them. They proceed to the
tables where the each flag is folded. The folded flags are fetched by the
boy patrols and "we" open each flag, cutting it respectfully down the center
length wise, then cut the blue field with the stars away from the red and
white stripes. The flag is now in three parts, folded and placed over the
arms of one of the boys wearing white gloves. This boy scout marches to the
Retirement flames, stands at attention until given a solute by the honor
guard. He then proceeds to the flame, places the flag parts on the flame,
steps back, solutes, does an about face and retires back to his patrol. The
honor guard patrol is all the time reading "My Flag Stands For:" Honor,
Bravery, Freedom, etc., etc., etc. One respectful word for each flag.
This has been a brief description of how we do it. The great part of this is
it is giving service to the community by boy scouts and the boy scouts feel
very good about what they have done. Our Retirement gives many rolls of
leadership experience to the boys and each comes away feeling like they have
provided an important service to America.
We have LOTS of boys who NEED TO BE INVOLVED, and our program provides jobs
for everyone. With smaller groups less pomp and ceremony is very acceptable.
After all it isn't how we do the Retirement, it is that we do it.
Keep up the good work in scouting and remember it is all for the boys.
This is for SteveV.