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Uniform Flag - Army style

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gaucho writes:I saw two scouters (one a Dist. Commissioner) with their new uniforms. They had replaced the flag (they applied the new one right over the old one) with an Army style (Stars on the right). The old ones were already coming off they said. I personally really liked it, but is there anything against using one of those?I don't have it in front of me, but I believe the Insignia Guide prohibits any modifications to the official BSA uniform. It sure sounds to me like those two Scouters modified their uniforms by substituting an original, official insignia with unofficial and unauthorized replacements.


Are they military? If so, they would very likely never dream of modifying their Army uniforms to suit their personal feelings, yet feel its OK to modify the BSA uniform? Why is that?

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"yet feel its OK to modify the BSA uniform? Why is that?"


Could be a couple things.


1) They're ex-military and they know that the Army was has to be the right way.


2) It doesn't matter if you modify the BSA uniform because it is only Scouts and not something important like sports.



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  • 10 months later...

Page 76 of the 12th edition of The Boy Scout Handbook notes the difference between the BSA and the U.S. Army methods of wearing the flag, and that the BSA method is in accordance with the U.S. Flag Code.



Ed Palmer


(yes, I know this is an old thread)



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Which goes back to one of my points: The Armed Forces want a spirit of obedience in their socialization: When it comes time to take that hill, a commander wants his soldiers to obey orders. When it comes time for Fleet aciton, a Captain wants his sailors to do what they are supposed to to fight the ship.


In the military, suppressing the human reaction to flee danger is part of the essential training.


The whole military judicial system is built on conformance: The basis of criminal law in the military is "Conduct to the prejuidice of good military order and discipline."


That's why the military can and does use coercive measures as part of its leadership dynamic.


Scouting is not the military.


In terms of program materials and people, Scouting invests relatively little into uniforms after they're sold. There are certainly fewer resources for uniforming than there are for Advancement, Leadership, or the Outdoors.


Yes, uniforming is A Method... one of eight.


Now, returning to the Flag patch: General Pete Schoomaker, God love him, was the Chief of Staff who brought that innovation to the Army. He was trying to create a symbol for the Army being an expeditionary force. That's why he spent lots of budget dollars to replace all the flag patches Chief Canton to its own right with flag patches Chief Canton marching forward. Originally he insisted we'd go into harm's way with the red white and blue patch. IIRC it took some medical wound data showing the patch was a target for him to fall off colors and go subdued.

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On another, but similar note, the Baltimore Area Council has officially adopted the Star Spangled Banner (15 star, 15 stripe) as our flag through 2014. That is the 100th anniversary of the battle of Baltimore on September 14, 1814 at Fort McHenry. We are also planning a campout at the fort with the cooperation of the National Park Service. Our troop had made flag patches to wear on the uniform that look like the official uniform patch but with the 15 stars and stripes. They are selling like hotcakes among the other troops in the council and we may have to reorder.

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In reference to modifying the BSA uniform: I'M GUILTY! Wife embroidered over teh BOYS SCOUTS of AMERICA to prevent that from falling off, I modified my temp insignia pocket to prevent my temp patches from falling off, and I plan on sewing a flag patch, an old BSA approved one, over the fake one as soon as I finish oldest son's TC uniform.

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The US Flag Code is for civilians so they can properly display the US flag, buntings, and other national symbols.


The military has its own code.


Thus we are discussing apples and oranges with the flag issue.


A simple solution to this whole problem would be to return the flag to above the right pocket where it once was. Then it could be displayed correctly without some mythical explanation as to why the military displays the flag backwards to civilian standards.



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above the pocket was only for the cubs. Once they changed it when teh uniforms started having the patch automatically on it. And since Webelos are still CS, but have the option of the blue or the tan uniforms, they made everyone wear the unifomr withthe flag onthe sleeve.

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  • 2 years later...

I see all sides of this argument and do not see the need to cast aspersions toward Scouting, the military, or individuals therein or therewith affiliated. I think if I were to consider swapping the right shoulder patch, which I wouldn't, it would only be in the spirit of the original intent of the military to signify a flag held by an individual moving forward.


This is not a military conformity or coercive leadership issue, but simply one of conveying the feeling of moving forward. I do believe this is a feeling and attitude that we should encourage with our youth as a sense of spirit and purpose for each individual - and the reverse flag patch would be no different than any of the other motivators to our youth.


Those of you who insist on making negative remarks about the military are absolutely correct in your assessment that there are those who think the military does some things right that Scouts may do wrong. Marching formations and flag ceremonies are among these, but only in some form and content. These group movement and patriotic ceremony actions are borrowed directly from the military and Veterans have every right to want to see the boys achieve the crispness and dignity that should be shown.


Those of you Scouts who don't respect the military and military decorum would do well to stop imitating it, however... that would mean you may need to step away from the most outstanding youth service organization in the world. ...So outstanding because it was conceived and structured by a military mind and supported by civilians and military people over the years. Scouting continues to be a vision of what we ALL hope for - young men who are outstanding family men, solid citizens, good stewards of our Earth, able to provide sensible leadership that avoids world conflict while preserving freedom, and finally the part you may be forgetting - Duty to God and Country.


In the event of a safety threat or oppression of our people, our Scouts, as soldiers, have historically been numbered well among those who tried hardest to avoid loss and those who fought hardest to defend freedom. The flag facing as though our young men are moving forward would not be out of disrespect, but rather the deepest of respect for the Boy Scouts of America for its unwavering values and dedication to future well-being of our nation.

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