Guidelines for Conducting Flag Ceremonies,
Days Two through Six
At the Day One Gilwell Field assembly, a staff color guard conducted the flag-raising ceremony, setting the tone and providing an appropriate model for subsequent flag ceremonies.
During the remainder of the Wood Badge course, the program patrol takes responsibility for the flag ceremony. The program patrol will have had program responsibilities since the previous day’s Gilwell Field assembly; that should give them time to plan and practice the ceremony, and obtain the appropriate historic flag from the quartermaster.
Readings and lyrics of the songs associated with historic flags are provided. Note that only those historic flags that were a flag of our Nation are saluted when they are raised.
Gilwell Field Flag Raising Procedure
After the senior patrol leader reports to the Scoutmaster, “The troop is formed,” the scoutmaster replies, “Proceed with the flag ceremony.”
The senior patrol leader directs, “Program Patrol, raise the colors.”
The patrol leader of the program patrol takes charge, calling the members of the troop to attention.
The color guard approaches the flagpole and attaches the US Flag to the center lanyard. The patrol leader asks the troop members to make the Scout salute, and then instructs the color guard to “Raise the colors.” The U.S. flag should be hoisted rapidly. As soon as it is at the top of the flagpole, the patrol leader then leads the troop in the pledge of allegiance, when finished the patrol leader commands “two.”
The patrol then raises the Troop 1 flag on the audience’s right.
On days three through six the program patrol will lead the troop in reciting the Scout Oath and Law.
The patrol then attaches the historic flag on the lanyard on the audience’s left and makes its presentation (attached to the lanyard and held out so it can be seen) of the historic flag. After the presentation the historic flag is raised. The Star-Spangled Banner and the 46–Star flags are saluted and raised rapidly, as they are still recognized as official flags of the United States of America. The program patrol leads the group in singing a song associated with the historic flag. When completed the program patrol returns to its position in the troop assembly.
Note: each lanyard has a stop knot, which goes to the top. Its purpose is to prevent the flag from getting pulled into the pulley.
Gilwell Field Flag Lowering Procedure
There is a formal closing on Days 3 and 6 of the course. On Day 3 after the singing of Gilwell song the program patrol color guard will advance and lead Troop1 in reciting the Scout Oath and Law. Then the program patrol will retire the colors. On Day 6, at the order of the Senior Patrol Leader the program patrol will lower the flags.
There is not a troop retreat on days 1,2,4 and 5 of the Wood Badge course. The program patrol will lower the colors and other flags prior to dinner of each day. The color guard will call the troop to attention (for those present).
All flags of the United States current and previous will be lowered slowly and saluted as they are lowered. Once lowered the color guard will say two. The program patrol will then lower the remaining flags, fold all the flags and return them to the Quartermaster.
Flags can be picked up from the Quartermaster at Breakfast
Days 2,3: Lawrence Lodge porch
Day 4: Lass Lodge porch
Day 5: Scout Lodge porch
Day 6: Quartermaster on Gilwell Field at Activity
Flags can be returned to the Quartermaster before dinner
Days 1,2,3: Lawrence Lodge
Days 4,5: Scout Lodge
Day 6: SA Program on Gilwell Field at Activity
Historic American Flag Presentation
The Continental Flag / Grand Union (striped with cross union)
A nation’s flag is a stirring sight as it flies in the wind, representing a country’s land, its people, its government, and its ideals. The Egyptians flew the first flag like symbols thousands of years ago, and people have been flying them since.
While many flags have flown over what is now the United States of America, the first flag to represent the colonies was the Continental Colors, also called the Cambridge Flag or the Grand Union Flag. This flag, on which the British flag appeared at the upper left, was the unofficial American flag in 1775 and 1776. On New Year’s Day 1776, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, George Washington chose it to be flown to celebrate the formation of the Continental Army. Later that year, it was also the first American flag to be saluted by another country—the Netherlands.
(Note: this flag is NOT saluted as it is raised.)
Let us honor this flag with a song that also honors America: