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witch359

Flag Ceremony at a Business

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I agree with people that say this isn't worth service hours. A flag ceremony is not a service project. It's just something we do.

 

Which begs the question, what is it? If it's just part of an advertising campaign then I'd pass. But how about a company that's interested in developing community. If the sole intent is nothing more than doing a flag ceremony because it's veteran's day, I think it's fine. Yes, they may get some advertising for it but they also help pay for creating events that bring community together. At the same time some parent might bring their child to a scout unit because they saw some fine young men doing a flag ceremony.

 

I'd say talk to the owner and get to know him. Then listen to your gut.

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"Chartered by businesses"   I know a Cub Pack chartered to a Hardware store (locally owned).  They don't do anything but sign the charter every year. Oh,and supply lumber for CSDC. And nails and loan hammers for Cub nail pounding.  And maybe recommend folks to the Pack for "other things".

 

As to the restaurant flag ceremony,  I second the ideas about , what is their true desire.   Who raises the flag ordinarily? Maybe the teenage clerks could learn something.    What publicity was sought?   If the Scouts did a nice flag ceremony without an audience/tv crew,  who would salute?  I must assume they were expecting some public visage. 

 

If it was to be held in a public park, under the sponsorship of the restaurant, would that make it different?  Businesses/restaurants sponsor sport teams all the time ("Joe's Diner Tigers") . 'Course, now, we Scouts don't walk around with "First Baptist Church" emblazoned on the back of our uni shirts.  Leastwise, I've not seen that as of yet....

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We were told that the restaurant has a flag pole outside.  If they went to the effort and expense of building a flag pole, I think I might give them the benefit of the doubt as to their motivation.

 

When I was a boy, most of our Main Street businesses were owned by WWII vets.  They all had flag posts, freestanding or wall mounted, at the front of their stores.  The downtown was awash with a sea of fluttering flags during the annual Veterans Day Parade.  The Chamber of Commerce organized the parade.

 

The Boy Scouts offered to raise and lower these flags, and to properly dispose of flags when necessary.

 

Of course, this was back in the day when opening a business, providing employment in the community, paying taxes, and sponsoring local clubs, churches, schools, and charities was considered an act of patriotism, not a cynical exercise in self-promotion and money grubbing.

 

I am glad that our Boy Scouts provided this civic service when I was a boy, and I would not criticize any Boy Scout or Boy Scout unit who volunteers to do it today. 

Edited by David CO

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Drove by a CFA yesterday. They had a pretty impressive flag. So, if every store has one, this is part of their corporate investment in goodwill. (If anyone has stock, read the footnotes.)

 

I don't think that changes my opinion much. We need our adults to be above board with our boys. If they don't trust the patriotism of some business or party, spell that out. Let the boys sort through the ethics of their actions. Don't fake that their reservations are about BSA regs.

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We have units in our District chartered by a Harley Davidson dealership.  I wonder how those units can do service projects benefiting their chartered organization without hurting the image of the BSA.  All of those bikers in their leathers... can't have Boy Scouts associating with them.

 

It's a sad day in this country when I say that I might have reservations about a bar or strip club, and the OP lumps a fast food restaurant serving chicken products into the same category.  Since when did having morals become a bad thing?

  • Upvote 2

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What a bizarre discussion. I can honestly say I'm shocked adult Scout leaders are having trouble with this. I'm with the others here in missing the old days when political correctness didn't get in the way of scouting. Around here Scouting is considered part of our community. Community service isn't about hours, but about participation. 

 

Barry

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Disclaimer. CFA gave scoutson #1 about $1200 in a college scholarship when he worked for them 13 years ago.

 

And I like their waffle fries as well.

 

As scouts we are supposed to do good turns, help other people, be friendly, helpful, etc.

 

If we are now reluctant to do something as simple as a simple flag ceremony because someone might get the erroneous idea that we therefor espouse 100 percent of the businesses viewpoints then we are in a sorry state indeed.

 

When I became a den leader some decades ago my old SM was still alive so I stopped by to tell him that another of his boys was "carrying on".

 

When I asked if he had any advice for a newbie scouter he said very seriously " Do what is right for your scouts, and don't worry about what other people think"

 

And just for giggles, my troop has been asked to help out in the presidential inauguration next January. Hoo boy

Edited by Oldscout448

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This thread started with a troop whose committee (apparently) decided that they did not want the troop to participate in a particular activity. As usual in this forum, it has mutated far beyond that, and people have "added" facts that were not provided by the original poster.  The results, unfortunately, are predictable.

Nobody, as far as I know, has suggested that the the troop's participation would violate BSA regulations. I asked some questions designed to learn whether this event could be considered a "political activity" (which would depend on what activities are taking place at the event other than the flag ceremony itself. I don't think I got an answer. If the activities are partly "political" in nature, then the troop's visible involvement in the event would have to end after the flag ceremony itself. I am not saying that's necessarily the case. I am just asking.

Other than that, the troop can participate, or not participate. It's really up to them. If they don't want to participate because the ceremony because it is taking place at a business, or because the owner of the business has taken political positions they don't like, it's their concern. It's not up to us to tell them what to do.

 

I'm not sure how service hours got into it.  I don't think the original poster mentioned them.  I personally don't think Scouts should get service hours for a flag ceremony, but in our troop the Scoutmasters have believed otherwise, and its their call.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Other than that, the troop can participate, or not participate. It's really up to them. If they don't want to participate because the ceremony because it is taking place at a business, or because the owner of the business has taken political positions they don't like, it's their concern. It's not up to us to tell them what to do.

 

I'm not sure I understand NJ, didn't the OP ask for opinions from the list? As long as the replies are courteous and kind, isn't a discussion of the OPs request an appropriate use of the forum? Help us here.

 

Barry

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Wow, NJ, just wow.

 

The OP expressly asked (baiting us a little, to be sure) if scouts may honor a national holiday on the property of a business.

  • The OP's committee (or some adults in his/her troop) are characterized as using BSA regs as a pretense to object to what, in their region, might be politically incorrect action.
  • The perceived "incorrect action" was not sticking around for some rally, it was showing up in uniform to raise a flag and salute some vets on private property ... property of a business owner who is clearly using patriotism to garner goodwill in the face of known detractors.
  • He/she specifically intended to consider the event as an opportunity to acquire service hours. Thus the replies regarding it. And, frankly, not a bad aspect of this discussion, although probably not feedback the OP originally expected.
  • Part of whats going on her are adult machinations pure and simple. Youth consensus does not seem to be in the picture.

All items up for grabs. And each generates a different sentiment in different parts of this great land. It's good to hear replies from different parts.

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I'm not sure I understand NJ, didn't the OP ask for opinions from the list? As long as the replies are courteous and kind, isn't a discussion of the OPs request an appropriate use of the forum? Help us here.

 

Barry

 

Well, mainly he asked whether it was prohibited under BSA rules.  He did also ask for any "insights", but I think some of the responses could be interpreted as saying it was not appropriate to decline the invitation to participate in the ceremony.  Of course it is appropriate to decline, just as it is appropriate to accept.  That is what I was getting at.  

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 ... property of a business owner who is clearly using patriotism to garner goodwill in the face of known detractors.

 

Hm, it's starting to sound political again, which is as good enough reason as any to stay away.  It's not a BSA regulation, but it is a legitimate response.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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Displaying the Nation's Colors, or uniformed Scouts performing a flag ceremony is never inappropriate.

 

Yes, Scouts may perform flag ceremonies for businesses.

 

If any politically themed events follow, then Scouts should leave or change out of uniform.

 

That Troop Committee should be ashamed of themselves for worrying about "perception"  to further their own agenda.  Scouts are not pawns.  I would be questioning the real motivation of these adults. The Scouts themselves probably don't know and/or don't care about what the CEO of Chick-Fil-A believes.  Are these folks really "in it for the boys"?

 

And yes, the Scouts who participate are certainly due service credits for performing any ceremony by request outside their own unit or CO.

Edited by frankpalazzi
  • Upvote 1

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My local McDonalds flies a US Flag.  So does my local Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell and Wendy's.  Am I supposed to believe that these national and multi-national chain restaurants are more patriotic than the local custard stand that gave free custard cones to veterans on Veterans Day just because the custard stand doesn't fly a US flag?  Perhaps I'm to believe that Dave and Busters is even more patriotic because they're flying a massively sized US flag.  The real patriots must be the local auto dealers - boy oh boy, they don't fly just one flag - they fly dozens, sometimes hundreds.

 

On the Fourth of July, a local residential real estate broker sends his salesforce out early in the morning to stick flags at the end of people's driveways - Very patriotic of him, isn't it?  I mean really, who cares if their business card and a small flyer soliciting business is included - it's patriotic, right?

 

The next time the President order's the flags to be flown at half staff, drive around and see how many of these "patriotic" businesses are doing so.  Maybe I'm just cynical but I just can't help but think that businesses that make a point to fly flags aren;t in it just because of their patriotism or their so-called morality.

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