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The ranger was totally out of line. If the flag offneded him, a polite converstion with the SM expressing his views would have been the correct course of action to take. He certainly had no authority to make the troop remove the flag. This falls under the concept of "diversity" that is the in thing these days. Seems like I've heard that term associated with Wood Badge? If a scout wants to express himself by displaying a historical flag in his own campsite, he should be allowed to according to "diversity", since he is not breaking any laws that I am aware of.

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This is a strange thread to me because my Patrol when I was a youth was the rebel patrol. That was in the early 70s , what about 15 years ago, and no one ever thought anything about it. Our patrol flag was a small Confederate battle flag. Sometimes its sad how times change. The BSA even offered a patrol patch with a rebel flag on it. I still have a shirt with that patch.




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Re: the Jolly Roger


The oldest Sea Scout Ship in the country is Ship 24 in Houston

SS Jolly Roger


When my brother was a member of the Ship their medallion was a round, black patrol like medallion with white skull and cross bones. Sur eit still is.



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Part of the problem with symbolism is that we don't all interpret it the same way. Yes, the confederate flag(s) may have many different meanings and historical precedents, not all of which are linked to slavery and racism. But interpretation is also colored both by knowledge and experience, and many people are going to be offended by such a flag, even if offense wasn't entirely intentional.


Another part of the problem is that, at least where I live, scouting is not a terribly diverse organization, for all that it claims to want to be. And there are many who think all this talk of diversity within scouting is really just window dressing rather than a truly valued concept. So when a group of scouts gets together that is diverse, (a rare occasion around here - more than likely only at a council-wide event like summer camp, for many units) and one part of that group does something that is considered patently offensive to another part of that group, well we have a bigger problem and people can say (right or wrong) that see, here's just another example of how scouting talks a good game about diversity but doesn't actually mean it.


The whole situation as described is sad and it sounds as though everyone agrees that the former Ranger was out of line with regard to how he tried to "solve" it - but I also agree the SM and the Camp Director could've diffused this situation themselves long before the Ranger felt such a need to act. I'm thinking that if handled differently, it could've been a great teaching moment, maybe on this theme:


"A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own."




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I am really confused about something here.


E, your starting post in this thread referred to the "last years Ranger."


In my Council, both Reservation Rangers are longstanding members of the Professional Service. One is an architect by training, the other is a multi-skilled construction tradesman. Both are of long service and well-respected. Both understand the Scouting program intimately and give their professional lives to serve it.


"Last years Ranger." This implies the gentleman in question is no longer an employee of BSA. If so, he's just like any other volunteer. Further, he's without formal authority on your reservation.


It seems to me that if there is as big a storm over this issue as you wrote, the SE should just bar him from the property. That solves the problem of the former rangers' informal authority and his willingness to violate the Scout Law.


As I recall, you live and camp well above the Mason-Dixon line. I think some quiet questions through Commissioner and Chartered Partner channels, about the whys' and wherefores of flying Confederate States of America flags, are in order.


There may be a true and innocent reason. There may be a lack of understanding what the various CSA flags mean. There may even be, malice aforethought, some attitudes about race and equality which demand adult confrontation with the youth. After all, one of the Aims of Scouting is Citizenship!

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