When We Should Have Flag Ceremonies and Say the Pledge of Allegiance
Most den and pack meetings should include the Pledge of
Allegiance to the American flag. It is appropriate to have a presentation of the
colors and the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every pack meeting,
the retirement of the colors at the conclusion. On occasion, especially in den
meetings, you can vary the opening
ceremony and not use the flag. In pack
meetings, you might start out with the presentation of the colors in the
beginning of your pack meeting and reserve the Pledge of Allegiance for later
during the opening ceremony or even during the closing ceremony. Patriotic
ceremonies should be meaningful and inspirational for boys.
Flag Ceremony Planning
When you take the time to plan ahead, the Cub Scouts and
Webelos Scouts will be prepared for a successful experience.
|When younger Cub Scouts are responsible for a flag
ceremony, make sure the flags are not too heavy for the boys to carry.|
|Check the ceiling height beforehand to determine whether
the flags will clear it. If they won’t, post the colors before the
|Rehearse the ceremony. Make sure everyone knows his part
and walking route.|
Create Your Own Opening Ceremony With the U.S. Flag
Use the following suggestions to make your ceremony effective:
|Have the color guard post the colors and retreat. Delay the
Pledge of Allegiance until after your opening ceremony.|
|Post the flag, and then create a slight breeze with an
|Shine a flashlight or spotlight on the flag.|
|Follow the flag with a flashlight or spotlight while the
color guard walks in.|
|Use background music (piano, records, cassette tapes, CDs).|
|Prerecord music and play it, making it louder or softer as
your ceremony progresses.|
|Use songs that are appropriate for the occasion.
|• "The Star-Spangled Banner" |
|• Seasonal songs|
|• "America, the Beautiful" |
|• Marching songs|
|• ‘You’re a Grand Old Flag" |
|• Spiritual songs|
|• "God Bless America"|
Flag Ceremony Comments
Keep in mind the following guidelines:
|When in uniform, stand at attention and salute with your
|When not in uniform, stand at attention and place your
right hand over your heart. You should remove your nonuniform hat.|
|When in uniform, with your head covered or uncovered,
either indoors or outdoors, stand at attention and salute with your right
hand when the national anthem is played, the colors are raised or lowered,
the Pledge of Allegiance is recited, or the flag passes by in a parade.|
|The reason the color guards do not participate in saluting,
singing, or saying the Pledge of Allegiance with the group is because their
job is to guard the flag at all times. They should salute after the flag is
|The U.S. flag is posted on the left, as you look toward the
|Any person can write to his or her U.S. senator or U.S.
representative, and for a reasonable fee receive a flag that was flown over
the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.|
|For more information regarding the flag, refer to the
booklet Your Flag.|
|You can find additional information on the U.S. flag from
current encyclopedias and from veterans groups.|
|Make sure that you include all boys in your flag ceremonies
at different times of the year. Boys with physical disabilities can proudly
act as narrator or even flag bearers when adults see these events as
possibilities instead of barriers|
Introductory Statements for the Pledge of Allegiance
Often, the Pledge of Allegiance is introduced with a phrase that helps set
the stage and turns our thoughts toward the meaning behind the words. Use the
following ideas, but often the most effective statement is one that comes from
|Sometimes we hear people say the phrase, "One nation,
(pause), under God." When this phrase was added by House Joint
Resolution 243 and approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June
14,1954, it was added without a comma or pause after the word
"nation." The correct phrasing is, "One nation under
|Thirteen stripes and 50 stars—this phrase can only refer
to our American flag. Let us remember the history behind the Stars and
Stripes as we say the Pledge of Allegiance.|
|"Long may it wave" —let us remember the history
of our flag as we pledge our allegiance to our flag.|
|As we salute our flag, let us remember the words from the
|• It is my duty to my country|
|• To love it;|
|• To support its Constitution|
|• To obey its laws|
|• To respect its flag; and|
|• To defend it against all enemies.|
|The red in our flag stands for courage and bravery. Today,
as we salute our flag, let us remember the men and women in the armed forces
who are serving our country and us.|
|For more than 200 years, our flag has been the emblem of
liberty for generation after generation of Americans. Let us look at it with
pride as we pledge our allegiance to it.|
|Our flag is bright with cheer, brilliant with courage, and
firm with faith. Let us think about these things as we pledge our
|We, the people—that is what our flag stands for.
Together, let us say the Pledge of Allegiance.|
|For the opportunities our country offers to the youth of
America, let us say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag, the emblem of our
|The flag is a symbol of our country. Let us join together
in saluting our flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.|
|Where our flag flies, there is freedom. Join me now in
expressing our allegiance to the flag.|
|On June 14, 1777, Congress approved the first official
United States’ flag. Throughout our country, we now observe June 14 as
Flag Day. Let us remember that special day as we pledge our allegiance.|
|Many creative and inventive people have contributed to the
growth of our country. Long ago, our ancestors never dreamed we would have
automobiles, airplanes, television, computers, space shuttles, or many other
things that we take for granted. It took many different people who used
their individual talents to make our country grow. Let us think of these
people as we pledge allegiance to our flag.|
|"O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of
grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain!" Our
country is beautiful, from the historic treasures of New England on the East
Coast, to the deep blue lakes of the Central United States, to (add
something personal about your area), to the towering mountains of the
West. We are proud of our beautiful America and pledge ourselves to keeping
it beautiful. There is beauty in each of our 50 states, and our United
States flag represents those states. Stand and join me in the Pledge of
|America is made up of people from many different nations—including
the nations of the American Indian—who have brought with them their
ideals, customs, and talents. America is often called a melting pot because
it is a blend of so many different people and cultures. As we pledge
allegiance to our flag, let us think of all the different people who have
created our country as it is today.|
|Behold the emblem of our country—our flag. May it always
represent the highest ideals of the American people. May its stars and
stripes always support democracy in America. Stand and join me in the Pledge
|We have the responsibility to care for our beautiful world.
We enjoy doing things together as families. In Scouting, we have many
opportunities to work and play together. Today, as we salute the flag that
represents millions of American families, let us be thankful for our own
families and the beautiful world in which we live. Stand and join me in the
Pledge of Allegiance.|
|Growing up is an adventure. Every day brings new and
exciting things into our lives. Scouting opens many new doors for boys as
they develop in character, personal fitness, and citizenship. As we salute
the United States flag, let’s think about all the adventures that are
ahead of us, and silently promise to do our best. Let us stand and pledge
allegiance to our flag.|
Standard Indoor Flag Ceremony Using Flag Stands
Preparation: Put flag stands in
place at the front of the room. Looking to the front, the U.S. flag stand
is on the left. Flag guards are in the back of the room holding the flag.
They have already checked to make sure that the flags fit in the flag
holders and that the flags clear the ceiling.
Personnel: Narrator and color guard
Materials: U.S. flag and a pack flag
Presentation of Colors – Indoors
Attention. Will the audience please rise? (Pause.)
The color guard waits in the back of the room for the
audience to stand and become quiet.
Color guard, advance.
The pack flag guards and bearer are on the left, and the
U.S. flag guards and bearer are on the right. With the U.S. flag in the
lead, they walk in and cross so that the U.S. flag will be on the left
side of the room when you look toward the front. The bearers and guards
take their positions near the flag stands, facing the audience and holding
the flags vertically
Everyone, with the exception of the flag bearers and
Please repeat with me the Pledge of Allegiance. (All
The bearers and guards stand at attention and continue
to hold the flags. The pack flag is lowered slightly so that the U.S. flag
stands taller. The U.S. flag guards and bearer and pack flag guards and
bearer do not salute or say the Pledge of Allegiance.
The pack drops its salute. The pack flag is raised to
its vertical position again.
Color guard, post the colors.
The pack flag is placed in its stand. Its guards and
bearer step back into place. The U.S. flag is then posted. Its guards and
bearer salute it and step back into place.
Color guard, dismissed.
The U.S. flag guard leads the procession to the back of
the room with the narrator following last.
|When the U.S. flag is carried with another banner (such as
the pack flag), it should always be on "its marching right" in the
|If there is only a narrow aisle, the procession follows this
order in single file: U.S. flag guard, U.S. flag bearer, pack flag bearer,
pack flag guard.|
Retiring of Colors – Indoors
Will the audience please rise? (Pause.)
The color guard waits in the back of the room for the
audience to rise and become quiet.
Color guard, advance.
The U.S. flag guard and bearer and pack flag guard and
bearer walk down the aisle and to the flags. They stand behind the flags,
facing the audience.
Color guard, salute.
The guards and bearers salute.
Color guard, retire the colors.
The U.S. flag is removed first (just slightly ahead of
the pack flag).
Everyone, with the exception of the guards and bearers,
salutes. The U.S. flag stays on its "marching right" as the
guards and bearers proceed down the aisle to the rear of the room.
Everyone drops the salute.
06/15/2006 03:17 PM
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