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Is an indoor flag raising ceremony not appropriate?

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Is there any good reason that a U.S. flag should not be raised on a flagpole indoors?


One of our ASMs is trying to work with our scouts to put a little more "pomp & circumstance" and "ceremony" into our courts of honor that are currently very much boy-led, but candidly a little blah.


One idea the boys liked was to have a flag raising ceremony indoors, using a flagpole lashed together and erected by the scouts rather than posting the colors in a flag stand.


Another ASM has said that an outdoor-style flag ceremony where a flag is raised on a pole is not "allowed" or is at least not appropriate.


I know that there are a lot of urban legends surrounding U.S. flag protocols, but I have never seen or heard of this one. It's admittedly unusual to do it this way but I can't understand what would be wrong with it. Can't find any relevant language in the U.S. Flag Code either.

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I have two favorite indoor flag ceremonies --- both quite easy to do since they don't involve marching around.


1) Use a flag on a staff (stick)


Have everyone grab on to the flagstaff with their left hand. Salute with your right hand and do the Pledge.


Use additional flags if needed.



2) Unfurl a large enough flag. Have everyone participate in stretching out the flag so it's parallel with the floor. Everyone holds on to a piece of the flag with their left hand and salutes with their right hand while doing the pledge.


As an added bonus, those who don't know how practice folding the flag when done.

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Rayburn, I'm not aware of any reason this should not be done.


I'd ask the ASM to show you the rules that specify this. "I would hate to violate the US flag code in Scouts. If we're not supposed to raise the flag indoors, then we won't. Can you show me where it says that we're not supposed to do that?"


I doubt he can find anything. As you've observed, it's not easy for you to find anything that says this.

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The Flag Code does not say anything about raising a flag indoors, but it explicitly forbids it's display horizontally over the floor. It is supposed to fly free, not hung onto with any hands.



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Does it honor the flag? Does it show respect? Is it a good example to set? If so, go for it.


IMHO, the issue is "... but candidly a little blah". And this might be another thread. Our troop's COHs, except Eagle, are pretty casual. Slide shows. Announcements. Scouts awarding scouts. Handshakes. Funny stories. Scoutmaster moment. It's actually a very enjoyable experience. And given that we have four per year, we did not want to make them like sitting through a 90 minute junior high violin concert.


I've been to a few COH's that are down right painful. All you think about is how uncomfortable the chair is and how much time is left.

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I can think of lots of ways to have a dignified flag ceremony without doing an indoor flag raising.


- Have the kids research the Presidents of the Boy Scouting era...


- Have the kids research Medal of Honor winners who were Scouts...


- Have the kids research local government officials who were Scouts...


- Use the Red Skelton interpretation of the Pledge (have them do it).


There's 4 ideas right there. Want more?


I'm not saying an indoor ceremony is wrong, I'm saying there are better ways to get the point of citizenship development (it IS an Aim of Scouting) across...(This message has been edited by John-in-KC)

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... or hold the Court of Honor outside ... on a camping trip ... in a park ... in a back yard ... in a swimming pool ...


FMC events (Folding Metal Chairs) are the worst kind for keeping an audience engaged.

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Off point slightly, but here goes....


I once visited a Mexican restaurant that went like this: You paid a fee, entered a cafeteria line, loaded up on chalupas, frijoles, enchiladas, etc. and went to your table. When you wanted seconds, you raised the Mexican flag on a little pole (2 feet tall, little rope, guide eyes, ) in the middle of your table. Waiter came and took your drink order or other desire, put the flag down, and walked off to fetch your desire.

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