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ConnCM

Flag Poles & Ribbons

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I have a dilemma of sorts. Our Pack is 53 years old. Our flag poles were pretty close to that. So we just purchased new poles a toppers since the old wooden pole toppers won't fit the new vinyl coated metal poles we selected.

 

Our flags are in great shape & clean too. The gold cord will live to see another season.

 

The oldest ribbon on our Pack flag topper is dated 1959 & every decade since then is well represented with at least several ribbons from every year since 1963. The result is literally hundreds of ribbons weighing several pounds resulting in a very impressive (yet top heavy) dispaly. However the lengths some Leaders have gone to attach ribbons is making their respectful transfer quite difficult. In some cases thin wire was pierced into & through the gold cord to attach ribbons. In other cases the ribbon cords were supplemented & strung through & around other decades to insure firm attachment.

 

Tonight I was able to remove 20 years of ribbons without cutting a single strand. I did cut the wire.

 

How tacky would it be if I had to resort to cutting some of the older cords & replacing them? What of reattaching them? I'm thinking that attaching each decade to a seperate ring might make it easier for future Scouts to see & realize the history we carry with us to Pack Meeting & other significant events.

 

Has anyone ever tried having silk ribbons dry-cleaned? Some are dirty.

 

I will appreciate any & all feedback. These ribbons are a source of great pride to our senior Committee members. But due to their failing state, not much attention is drawn to them for fear of possible damage upon examination. My goal is to preserve & bring more awareness to them so that our existing Scouts have a better appreciation of the history of our Pack.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Steve

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ConnCM,

"nix" on the cleaning...first unless you really know what you have to work with the "printing" copy on each ribbion may be 'cleaned' right off the ribbon.

 

Leave what you can, in the "conservation trade"- old is old and new is BAD...unless the cords are no longer strong enough to secure the ribbons ...leave them on.

 

you might want to "scan" each ribbon and make a 'show me' book scrap-book to display at pack functions...rather than having the boys/parents 'handle' each ribbon to see what is there.

 

Finally, just 'cause something is old and faded is no reason to feel it is "ugly", rather say your "topper" is a classic, historic or just full of "character" and pride!.

Best of luck...(our troop started in '51- some faded and all proud!)

Anarchist

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An old troop I was involved in took all the old ribons and strung them on the sides of the ceiling of the scout room with some of the old troop flags (our district has changed and the council has changed the troop number over the years, ie: 109, 409, 609). The display was inpresive as the scouts and parents could see the history in front of them, instead of trying to look over 60 or 70 ribons.

Dancin

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Steve,

 

I commend you for the thoughtful care you are showing to your pack's history. My personal opinion is that the cords could be replaced to ensure the ribbons are adequately attached and to present a uniform appearance. I like your idea of reorganizing them along some chronological order. As for cleaning them, I would probably let the dirt help to tell the pack's story.

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Thank you Anarchist

 

I like the idea of scanning the ribbons. I have already started to inventory the ribbons in Excel but scanning or a color copy to go along with it is a great idea & one I can handle here at home. Thus we can encourage folks to browse the book rather than handle the actual items.

 

Part of what prompted this concern was several Cub-O-Ree ribbons from 1977 that have become so brittle (not silk) they have torn off their cords. Even the grommets are missing & there is evidence of past repairs (staples). These I will find a plastic sleave for since they are nearly as brittle as dry leaves. I can only imagine how many have been lost for good already.

 

I do not foresee having to replace many cords. They haven't failed but are so frayed at their ends as to require a "haircut" to facilitate untying.

 

We delayed this effort in the name of preservation too long as it is. The US Flag had been reattached to the wooden poles at some point with drywall screws after the rings had been lost. Now the pole is split where the screws entered it. The two-peice socket adapters were held together with duct tape & beyond repair. There isn't enough of the original wood left in the pole to allow for repair even if replacement sockets could have been located. The poles would have ended up too short. Once the colors fell over at a Veteran's Day flag ceremony we decided that enough was enough.

 

How do most folks attach ribbons? I really need to come up with a better means of attachment so this effort needn't be repeated again any time soon.

 

Thanks,

 

Steve

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Thanks Everyone. I was composing as some additional posts were made. Too busy working to slouch off today I guess.

 

It would be great to display these in a brick & mortar building if we had one. Our Pack meets in the cafeteria of a local middle school so we don't have this option.

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I have all of my troop's ribbons strung on a leather thong separted by a plastic bead. You can buy the leather and the beads at any hobby shop. I thread the leather through the grommett that the cord of the ribbon is looped through. Ours are all hung off the Troop flag and as you say it gets awfully top heavy.

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The pack I was a member of had two poles separate from that of the flags in which ribbons were placed. We'd carry them right along with the flags in any sort of color guard.

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We had the same problem a few years ago and spent hours untangling a mass of ribbons, some approaching 50 years old. Some you could not even read the writing on them any more. We attached some shower curtain rings to the top of the pole and put the ribbons thru the rings. Works fine and keeps them separated. The flag does get top heavy though, but that's what 50 years of history will do for you!

 

Dale

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After 7 hours over 4 nights all of the ribbons have been removed. Some I was not able to detangle & they were cut. This was no great loss since once down deep into the maze it appears the older ribbons had been reinforced with new string which did hold the ribbons but made the resulting knots impossibly difficult to untangle.

 

Our Council store didn't have replacement cord nor did the local fabric store. tonight is Roundtable & I'm hoping to find a source of the correct cord. If not I'll contact Hodges who manufactured the pennants & streamers for many of the years.

 

Council did have this item in stock:

 

https://scoutnet.scouting.org/BSASupply/ItemDetail.aspx?ctlg=05NDC&ctgy=PRODUCTS&c2=FLAGS_RIBBONS&C3=FACCESSORIES&C4=&LV=3&item=1981

 

This item should serve to tether the newly organized mass with the dignity it deserves.

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All that work and no one told you about guying your flag pole. ;-)

 

Instead of reattaching each ribbon, what about scanning them to JPEG, burngin the pictures on a CD-ROM and just attaching the on CD-ROM to the flag pole? ;-)

 

Just kidding with you. Sounds like you did a great job.

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