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Den Flags

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I will be sure to pass that on to the boys in the den! After all, they created the flags, so they deserve to know what nice things others are saying about it. Thanks for the kind words. :-)

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Here we go! As you can see, our "field flag" is much easier to carry and can take a good beating in the outdoors (that's a coarse linen we made it out of). It still has our den emblem and the Arrow of Light on it - that's the yellow blur on the bottom -  but it isn't covered in all the doo-dads and ribbons which bedeck our ceremonial flag. The most important thing to the boys was that they both look "medieval," and I think they succeeded! 

 

The boys have their own names for each flag. The primary ensign is our "Parade Flag," while the smaller banner is our "Battle Flag." They definitely grasp the purposes of each one. ;-)

 

den%20field%20flag_zps7yaeisbk.jpg

 

great ideas man, love em.  My Den doesn't have a flag yet, definitely going to use some of these ideas! 

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ps, what book did you use?  was lookin on amazon and most books seem geared towards modern flags and the medieval flag books seem more text based and less image based.  thanks again. 

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The books I found are from my own library; they are very old and some are out of print, but a great source is The World Encyclopedia of Flags, which has a lot of great images within it, along with The World Encyclopedia of Flags and Heraldry. However, the best source is not a book on flags, but a book on heraldry (of which I am an ardent enthusiast) called The Art of Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, which has hundreds of illustrations that give an excellent sense of medieval style and design. Obviously our den ensigns use the same image as the patch itself, but the shape and style of both the flag and banner are pure Middle-Age stuff. As we are "Ye Merry Archers," it seems fitting. :-)

 

Also here are some of my FAVORITE vintage images of patrol flags from LONG before I was born. They are clever, imaginative, and not too hard for boys to put together - I have a large store of vintage scouting images saved up, and these remain some of my absolute favorites:

 

Patrol%20flag%20ideas%204_zpsmuor6gwa.jp

 

Patrol%20flag%20ideas%201_zpsdo30nnni.gi

 

Patrol%20flag%20ideas%202_zpsr39ktcop.gi

 

Patrol%20flag%20ideas%203_zps3bym8frx.jp

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Some great ideas there.... and from my perspective it seems like it would be an awesome camp activity to plan for patrols or Dens.... bring along the materials, and then it gives something to do while spending time in camp.

Sadly, I see most scouts today not being overly interested in such an idea and too lazy to make it happen without a whole lot of adult push (because of lack of interest)

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The books I found are from my own library; they are very old and some are out of print, but a great source is The World Encyclopedia of Flags, which has a lot of great images within it, along with The World Encyclopedia of Flags and Heraldry. However, the best source is not a book on flags, but a book on heraldry (of which I am an ardent enthusiast) called The Art of Heraldry by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, which has hundreds of illustrations that give an excellent sense of medieval style and design. Obviously our den ensigns use the same image as the patch itself, but the shape and style of both the flag and banner are pure Middle-Age stuff. As we are "Ye Merry Archers," it seems fitting. :-)

 

Also here are some of my FAVORITE vintage images of patrol flags from LONG before I was born. They are clever, imaginative, and not too hard for boys to put together - I have a large store of vintage scouting images saved up, and these remain some of my absolute favorites:

 

perfect! thanks, I managed to snag all those books up used for a song.   I have no problem adding them to my own library either, I've always been interested in flags and heraldry.  Thanks again, I'll share some photos once the den finishes the project

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Boys of Scouting age will mirror the excitement their leader shows for an activity, especially Cub Scouts; if their Den Leader makes the project sound fun, and if he shows that he is having fun, then the boys will almost always become pick up on that excitement and start having fun.

 

I took two weeks before we got to our den flag project to talk about a few of the patrol names I had as a youth, some of the better or more ridiculous patrol names I have encountered, and about how thrilling it is to walk into pack meetings or camp adventures with a unique, brilliant banner flying high above us. I showed them pictures from books and online, and told them to get ready for the "big day" when we would choose our patch and name, and design our very own den flag. When the day of that den meeting finally arrived, I had a laptop with me and showed them dozens of different patches from scoutstuff.org and classb.com (seeing as Cub Scouting is still an adult-led program, I took the liberty of omitting many of the more absurd or questionable patches from the slide show :rolleyes:). By this point it was all I could do to contain their excitement, and by the end of the meeting, they were singing our den song and shouting our den yell - "We are the Merry Archers - aim high, BULL'S EYE!!!"

 

Did it take a big push on my part? Sure. But after that push came the ride, and the boys have made their patrol name a part of their identity, both as individuals and as a group. They ARE the Merry Archers! We use it as a theme in our meetings and activities; I tell stories of famous archers like Robin Hood and William Tell to inspire them, I use arrows as a metaphor to teach things like setting goals and aiming high, we discuss the "Arrows of Scouting," such as the Arrow of Light and the Order of the Arrow. All of this is represented in our flag and in our den name. 

 

Now, sure, some people might make a flag and come up with a name, and then it kind of dies there. But it can be so much more! Scouting is supposed to be a dynamic and imaginative program, isn't it? This kind of activity, of creating a sense of identity with all the trappings and ephemera that come with it, appeals to the very core of what it is to be a boy of that age, whether in 1916 or 2016. As leaders, we have to bring that out in them. And if some boys are harder to work with than others, well then, I welcome the challenge. We're Scouters, aren't we? We are prepared for the effort to yield the results.  ;)

 

The difference it makes is the difference you make of it. 

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Yes, you are probably right about the mirroring thing.  I'll admit that while I as ADL was excited and tried to encourage the idea, and hinted around about it, but I was not the DL.  Furthermore, our DL wasn't the most gung-ho about uniforming and stuff like this.  he did encourage the flag, but it's that extra mile tying it all together that was perhaps lost in our case. 

 

It sounds like you did a much better job laying the groundwork and then fanning the flames....

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So I've got Tigers, and getting them to agree on stuff is like herding cats, but they did finally get into it and are now The Pikachus lol.  It's a start and I'm gonna roll with it.  Need to pick up materials to put the flag together.  I'm going to assemble the main Den flag, and then let each of them decorate and design their named streamer.    :) 

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This isn't going to be a work of art, let the boys do the flag, forget the streamers.

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Hmm. Usually, Cub Scouts younger than Webelos don't actually pick a name - they might go with the "Polar Bears" or the "Siberian Tigers," but it isn't until they are Webelos that they actually choose a name for themselves in practice of the Patrol Method during the Scouting Adventure adventure. Especially since Tiger Cubs are so small, they can get a lot out of simply building up their identity as Tigers. But since you have done so, and it can't hurt anything that you did, here are some great flag ideas for younger dens:

 

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beardenflag_zpscixldhkb.jpg

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Edited by The Latin Scot

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This isn't going to be a work of art, let the boys do the flag, forget the streamers.

 

they were the ones looking forward to doing it.  

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they were the ones looking forward to doing it.  

Am I missing something here?  The boys were the ones looking forward to having the adults make the flags?  If that be the case, by the time they get to Boy Scouts, will the adults still be doing it for them?

 

I find it difficult to believe that the boys are doing the flag making with the examples being put on the forum.

 

Personally, I like the ones that are either the pendant flags with the patrol emblem on it or something entirely hand-made by the boys themselves.

 

Tiger Cubs can't make their own flag?  Cut a 2' square of paint cloth fabric.  Have the boys lay their hands in latex paint and put a hand print on the flag.  When it dries, get a Sharpie and have them sign their names.  If they take on a new boy, just have him put his hand print on it and sign it.  Life's too short to worry about a flag "somebody else made".  It may last only 1 year, but, it's a flag every boy has a piece of ownership in.

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Am I missing something here?  The boys were the ones looking forward to having the adults make the flags?  If that be the case, by the time they get to Boy Scouts, will the adults still be doing it for them?

 

I find it difficult to believe that the boys are doing the flag making with the examples being put on the forum.

 

Personally, I like the ones that are either the pendant flags with the patrol emblem on it or something entirely hand-made by the boys themselves.

 

Tiger Cubs can't make their own flag?  Cut a 2' square of paint cloth fabric.  Have the boys lay their hands in latex paint and put a hand print on the flag.  When it dries, get a Sharpie and have them sign their names.  If they take on a new boy, just have him put his hand print on it and sign it.  Life's too short to worry about a flag "somebody else made".  It may last only 1 year, but, it's a flag every boy has a piece of ownership in.

 

yes, you're missing something, I was talking specifically about them looking forward to making the streamers with their names on it, to which you said forget the streamers, thats all.  I agree I can let them make the flag, that's fine and gives them even more of a sense of ownership.  According to the committee tho, this flag goes with them straight through to Webelos, so maybe the committee is doing that wrong?  I'll keep it in mind that it only lasts a year.  

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