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In the Revised 2001 "YOUR FLAG" from the Boy Scouts of America on page 33 it states:

"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.

Reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The flag passes by in a parade or review.

A flag-draped coffin is passing.

"Taps" is sounded at a funeral.


United States Code - Title 4 - Flag and Seal, seat of Government, and the States - Chapter 1 - The Flag - Section 4 Pledge of allegiance to the flag; manner of delivery the last line states:

'Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.


Why don't the Boy Scouts use the scout sign with the right hand over the heart? This would be more in line with the Flag Code then speaking while saluting.

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Ok, I need some help here. We recently attended a reenactment. The historic flag with the 38 stars, not a confederate flag was presented. Since it was an official recognized flag, I had my children, hands on hearts, honor the flag. I wasn't sure though and tried the most respectful choice. It was presented with a cavalry honor guard. Experts?.....thoughts?

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I just completed Wood Badge this past weekend. At the morning flag ceremonies, a different historic flag was raised each day. We saluted when the current American flag was raised, but not for the various historic flags. However, our SPL did tell us that it is proper to salute the Star Spangled Banner (15 stripes/15 stars) as the only exception. I've tried to verify that, including a review of the US Flag Code, but have been unable to find any independent confirmation.


I think the choice you made is a good one. Respect toward any of our historic flags is certainly in order, and only a perfectionist might object to an incorrect but respectful observance.

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In reading through these posts, I have concluded that we are trying to be over precise about something. We want to be consistent with the flag code and teach our youth proper respect for the symbols of the USA, but I think we need to keep the principle in mind and not worry too much about the details.


The language cited from the flag code about uniformed personnel not reciting the pledge of allegiance while saluting is probably correct. I have no recollection of any instance when I was in sam's army of ever reciting the pledge of allegiance at all. But then I never participated in any ceremony where civilians were involved. Personally I see no harm in having the boys recite the pledge while saluting with a proper scout salute. The idea of having the scouts render a civilian salute with a scout sign over the heart, while in uniform, creates unnecessary confusion, and goes against the usage of the scout sign.


I personally would not have any problem saluting any historic flag representing the United States of America, in uniform or out of uniform. To me, the important principle to be taught is respect, rather than the nuances of the flag code. Clearly we do not want to introduce confusion, but the details would escape most people, adult and youth, present at any such ceremony.


Let's keep it simple.

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All U.S. Flags from the Thirteen star (Betsy Ross) to present are still valid flags of the United States and recieve full honors. I too just completed Wood Badge and Flag Etiquette is one of my ticket items.

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I agree...And I know the BSA policy regarding Scouts not being a military organization. From my readings on this, BSA is mostly concern about Troops enacting military drilling and discipline. And again, I have no argument with you concerning Scouts reciting the pledge while saluting the flag. However, let's not have such a knee jerk reaction to the military. I'm proud of our Arm Forces. I guess what I'm trying to say is...Its all in how you say it...We're not the military verses WE ARE NOT THE MILITARY...Perhaps its just me, but I feel some Scouters think the military sets a bad example some how. In light of the sacrifices they have made, and will mostly like make in the near future, I just want see them shown a little respect.


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In retrospect yes youare right, I should have not used caps. However the military has a very different purpose than ours. The military builds warriors. Baden Powell created scouting because boys were studying his military training manual for Scouts (recon). He was horrified at the thought of children studying to be warriors. All differences between Scouting and military service are intentional. It has always been this way and should remain this way.





Rooster7 I can understand your reaction given the circumstances and I am in no way offended by your post.


So let me clarify:


My father served in the US Navy for 20 years. My grandfather served in the US Army during WW2 in the Pacific (never spoke of it, found his discharge papers after he died), most of my co-workers served, my troop was sponsored by a Navy Base, I still live less than 3 miles from that same base, I recieved my Eagle in the Base Chapel, the officers of the USS Starke sponsored my lifetime membership in NESA. Anyone remember the Starke? I do everyday. My Committee Chairman just retired his commission as Executive Officer of the Naval Base where I was a Scout and recieved my eagle, most of my scout buddies enlisted, my best friend and hiking buddy was a Marine in the Gulf War, the buddy that got me into Scouts and taught me how to pack a backpack died in the Gulf War.


I'll let everyone here make their own decision regarding my respect and admiration of the US military.

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I could have been subtler. I meant no offense to you.


However, I do take issue with some of your statements. You said, "Baden Powell created scouting because boys were studying his military training manual for Scouts (recon). He was horrified at the thought of children studying to be warriors. All differences between Scouting and military service are intentional. It has always been this way and should remain this way."


This simply is NOT true.


Over the years, inspired by overly concerned mothers, political correctness, or other influences, a large number of folks including many Scouters, have revised history. I have not found any quotes from Baden Powell that support the claim that he wanted the Scouting program to distance itself from the military. Boys studying his military training manual did not horrify him. He was disturbed by how unprepared his young soldiers were in his regiment. He rewrote his own military manual, making it more appealing to boys, so they would read it and be prepared as men. He wanted to increase interest in the Boys Brigade. He intentionally designed the Scouting program to prepare boys for future service to their country. This was not limited to the military, but given Baden Powell's background and his own words describing the program, it certainly was prominently included. In fact, he speaks fondly of how British scouts offered their assistance in The Great War. This included guarding communication networks and coast guard stations. Do you really think he disliked the idea of Scouting being associated with the military? Some people may still want to argue this issue, but judging by the following article, Baden Powell's views of the military and why Scouts was created, is pretty clear.


I'm not suggesting radical changes to the current program. BSA has a great program. But seriously, I don't want anyone else to tell me that Baden Powell had problems with the Scouts being linked (at least in spirit) with the military. It's possible that as he grew older, he changed his mind. Nevertheless, the roots of the program are pretty obviousAnd PROUD roots they are.


"BE PREPARED" - An Interview with Baden-Powell by the "Listener" Magazine in 1937.

(This is not the full article. If you want to read it all, go to http://pinetreeweb.com/bp-listener.htm).




Also, from experience of the Boys' Brigade, I realised that men could be got voluntarily to sacrifice time and energy to training boys. Then my idea that Scouting could be educative was strengthened also, through the following incident. General Lord Allen by was riding to his house after a field day when his little son shouted to him, "Father, I have shot you, you are not half a Scout. A Scout looks upward as well as around him - you never saw me." There was the boy, sitting up in a tree overhead; but far above him, near the top of the tree, was his new governess. " What on earth are you doing up there?" cried the General. "Oh, I am had been trained at Miss Charlotte Mason's Collage for Teachers, and they had been using my book, Aids to Scouting, written for soldiers, as a textbook in the art of educating children.


Then in 1907 I, as a General, was inspecting 7,000 of the Boys' Brigade at Glasgow on its twentieth anniversary, and the founder, Sir William Smith, was very pleased because the total strength of his movement was 54,000. I agreed that it was a big number but added that if the training really appealed to boys there ought to be ten times that number. "How would you make it appeal?" he asked. "Well, look at the young fellows in the Cavalry, how they enjoy the game of Scouting, which makes them into real men and good soldiers." "Could you re-write 'Aids to Scouting'," he wondered, "so that it would appeal to boys instead of to soldiers and make them into real men and good citizens?" So I did that.


But before writing the book I planned out the idea and then tested it. I got together some twenty boys of all sorts, some from Eton and Harrow, some from the East End of London, some country lads and some shop-lads, and I mixed them up like plums in a pudding to live together in camp. I wanted to see how far the idea would interest the different kinds of lads.


I told a friend what I was doing, and said that I wanted a quiet place, out of Press reporters and inquisitive people, where I could try the experiment; she offered me the use of her property - Brownsea Island in Dorsetshire. And there we set up camp for a fortnight. I had the late Major Maclaren and the present Sir Percy Everett to help me and we taught the boys camping, cooking, observation, deduction, woodcraft, chivalry, boatmanship, lifesaving, health, patriotism, and such things.


The results upon the boys in that short space of time taught me the possibilities which Scout training held for boys. So I at once set to work and wrote the handbook, Scouting for Boys, intending it to be useful to the existing boys' organisations such as Boys' Brigade, the Church Lads' Brigade, the Y.M.C.A., and others.


The book came out in fortnightly parts at 4d. a copy. Before many of the parts had been published I began to get letters from boys who had taken up the game for themselves, boys not belonging to the Boys' Brigade or any other association.


All the following year boys were writing to me telling me how they had started Patrols and Troops and had got men to come and act as their Scoutmasters. So we had to start a Headquarters office in a tiny room to deal with correspondence and supply equipment. I remember my Secretary wondering whether, if we laid in a stock of twelve Scout hats, we should be able to sell them all!


In that year, 1909, I arranged to have a meeting of the would-be Scouts at the Crystal Palace on a certain day. And when I got there, my wig, there were a lot of them. Rain was threatening, so we mustered them inside the Palace and arranged a March Past and counted them as they entered at one door and went out at the other.


There were 11,000 of them - 11,000, who had taken it up of their own accord! That is why I say that one didn't see the start: Scouting started itself.




The fifth year came, bringing the Great War, so the movement had every reason to die then, for most of the Scoutmasters and all the older Scouts left to join up in the Services. Of these, some 10,000 were killed. But the movement did not die. The boys were put on their mettle to carry on and do service for their country in the time of its need. Our danger was that enemy spies in the country would try to upset our war preparations by blowing up railway bridges, cutting telegraph lines, and so on, and at once Scouts all over the country mounted guard to protect such communications by day and night. Others were used as orderlies and messengers in government offices to replace men sent to the Front.


The Admiralty asked if we could send Sea Scouts to take over the coastguard stations and so release the naval ratings there to return to active service with the fleet. Luckily we had prepared a big rally of Sea Scouts in the Isle of Wight for the Bank Holiday of August, 1914, and the Great War, you may remember, broke out on that date.


So we were able to send off detachments at once to take over all the coastguard stations, from John O'Groats to Land's End. These detachments were mainly patrols commanded by their own boy leaders. We had some 25,000 boys doing their duty during the course of the War. They did their work thundering well, and after the War was over received the thanks of the Admiralty and of the King for their services.


So, instead of dying, the movement showed its vitality; it rose to the occasion and since then has gone on growing in strength and usefulness.


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I think you should reread the code. It says "Persons in uniform should remain silent" not military persons in uniform. The hand salute is from the military.


When you teach scouts the Flag Code do you skip that part.

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In the words of the renown Monty Python's Flying Circus, Isnt this all a little bit silly? Whether or not its proper for Boy Scouts to salute the flag AND pledge allegiance? We have several ex-military fathers in the troop and one Army Reservist Leut. Colonel and he has never complained. Has any troop had a service man complain?


Whether or not Baden-Powell meant the scouts to be a paramilitary unit ? With all the issues that face the country and scouting, we choose this to quibble over? Next thing you know the discussion will be what side of my Eagle square knot needs to be closest the center of my shirt.

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If you're going to compare every discussion we have on this board to September 11 and its future impact on our children, we might as well stop posting now! Because in this light, nothing we can possibly say about Scouting can have much significance.


That being said, I feel this issue does have merit. Moreover, because some many folks try to play down this part of Scouting's history, to the point of revisionism, it is important the truth be told. Those who continue this "myth" do our military an injustice. I realize that Mike Long did not intend to send this message (I don't want to get him riled again)...But there is a contingent of folks in Scouting who believe the military is a bad influence on Scouts. I very much resent this thinking and inferences made to that affect.


Finally, since you brought up September 11, I feel this is a most appropriate conversation (at least as compared to others on this board). It is the MILITARY who makes the greatest sacrifices to ensure our freedom and safety. This will not change in the "new war". Shame on us or anybody else who do not pay them the proper respect. So yes, I chose to "quibble".


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Rooster7 writes


"Over the years, inspired by overly concerned mothers, political correctness, or other influences, a large number of folks including many Scouters, have revised history. "


First, I am a mother. I'm not really offended by your message about "overly concerned" mothers as much as I find it humourous. I am sitting here chuckling. Why? Because I know those mothers you are referring to, but also I know a few dads that fall into that same category. It's a hard line to walk about being protective without being "overly concerned".


I'm not sure what others think as my 10 year old cooks at all our campouts, puts up his tent alone, is in charge of putting up my tent (really helps to have 2 with that one). As a mom and a Webelos leader, I walk around talking to myself saying "as long as they aren't getting hurt, let them learn, just turn away, scratches and bumps are okay".

I also have some boys in the den whose moms have them scared of everything outside, including bugs, dirt and eating honeysuckle. Geez, I thought boys were made of bugs, dirt and rocks.


Thanks for the info and link about Baden-Powell. I think that few of our boys today in this country are prepared if we should go to war. I've already heard whining about not getting to take TV's and radios to a campout in a month. Not to mention they don't realize there is not a grocery store & fast food joint always within 2 miles of you.





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Sorry about the stereotype...I agree, overly concerned dads are not a rare species, but thanks for getting my point. Most notably, I too am concerned about how prepared our youth will be if forced to serve our country in this capacity.

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