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Boy Scout Troop 319
(La Crescenta, California)
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Boy Scout Flag Collection Ceremony   Scout

This Ceremony is meant for Boy Scouts.
Decide for yourself if it is appropriate for your younger scouts or not.
Whatever ceremony you attempt, these guidelines will help make it go smoothly:
  • Who will carry the flag?
  • Who will be the color guards and what formation will they make?
  • Who will give the directions for the ceremony?
  • What song will be sung? Who will start the song?
  • Who will say or read any extra parts?
  • After the Pledge of Allegiance, will the Scout Law, Scout Oath, and/or Outdoor Code be recited?
  • In what order will the parts of the ceremony take place?
  • When will the group practice?
  • Where will the flags be placed at the end of the ceremony?

Remember these points of U.S. Flag etiquette:
  • The U.S. Flag is always displayed to the far right of other flags, or in the center and higher than all others.
  • The U.S. Flag is displayed in a stand to the speaker's right as he faces the audience in an auditorium.
  • The U.S. Flag is raised briskly and lowered slowly.
  • When posting flags in stands, the U.S. Flag is always the last one posted and the first one lifted.
  • When raising flags on flag poles, the U.S. Flag s always the first one raised and the last one lowered.
  • The U.S. Flag should not be carried flat or horizontally.
  • The U.S. Flag should not touch anything below it, should not have anything placed on or above it, should not be used to cover anything, and should be kept clean.
  • When displayed after dark, the U.S. Flag should be illuminated.
  • When no longer suitable for display, a U.S. Flag should be burned in a special flag retirement ceremony.

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Freedom Candles

4 Candles
Spotlight or bright flashlight
6 Scouts

(Darken Room. 4 person color guard in back of room - each member has an unlit candle. One scout with spotlight seated front center of audience.)

Color guard enters with flagbearer in lead and 3 scouts following. They stop at center stage.
One scout grasps the upper right corner of the flag and raises it up so the flag hangs full.
Other two scouts each take a single knee at two lower corners of the flag.

Narrator scout steps forward and lights each of the four candles to illuminate the flag then returns to position to the audience's right.

Narrator: You see here the past, present and future of our country. The stripes of our flag stand for the original 13 colonies that began our nation. The stars represent the current 50 states. The blue field represents the dreams of the future. The Scouts represent the men of tomorrow. The lit candles remind us of our four great freedoms and if any of those are lost our nation will be lost:
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Religion
  • Freedom from Want
  • Freedom from Oppression
(each scout loudly says his Freedom and blows out his candle)

(after a couple seconds, the spotlight scout turns his light directly on the flag.)

Narrator: In this world of oppression, fear, and lack of freedoms, the United States of America stands forth. In our country, the four freedoms do exist and are an example for all.
Narrator: Please stand. Scouts salute and join me in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Face the Flag

(Color guard brings in the flag. Read this poem before saying the Pledge of Allegiance.)

Face the Flag of stars and bars,
Of red and white and blue,
A flag that guarantees the rights
For men like me and you.

Face the flag, friends, read what's written there
The history, the progress, and the heritage we share
Our flag reflects the past, friends, but stands for so much more
And in this age of challenge, it still flies in the fore.

It leads the forward movement shared by all mankind
To learn, to love, to live with peace in mind
To learn the mysteries of space, as well as those of earth
To love each man for what he is, regardless of his birth.

To live without the fear of reprisal for belief
To ease the the tensions of the world that cries out for relief.

Face the Flag of stars and bars,
Of red and white and blue,
A flag that guarantees the rights
For men like me and you

Face the flag, friends, take a good long look
What you're seeing now can't be found in any history book
It's the present and the future so it's being written now
And you're the one to write it, but the flag can show you how.

Do you know what it stands for? What it's makers meant?
To think, to speak, the privilege of dissent
To think our leaders might be wrong, to stand and tell them so
These are things that other men under other flags will never know.

But, responsibility, that's the cross that free men must bear
And if you don't accept that, the freedom isn't there.

Face the Flag of stars and bars,
Of red and white and blue,
A flag that guarantees the rights
For men like me and you.

Face the flag, friends, and face reality
Our strengths and our freedoms are based in unity
The flag is but a symbol, friends, of the world's greatest nation
And as long as it keeps flying, there's cause for celebration.

So do what you've got to do, but always keep in mind
A lot of other people believe in peace, but there are the other kind
If we want to keep these freedoms, we may have to fight again
God forbid, but if we do, let's always fight to win.

For the fate of a loser is futile and it's bare
No love, no peace, just misery and despair.

Face the flag, friends, and thank God it's still there.

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Remember Me?

Some people call me Old Glory, others call me the Star Spangled Banner, but what ever they call me I am your Flag, the Flag of the United States of America. Something has been bothering me, so I thought I might talk it over with you, because it is about you and me.

I remember some time ago people lined on both sides of the street to watch the parade and naturally, I was leading every parade, proudly waving in the breeze. When your daddy saw me coming he immediately removed his hat and placed it against his left shoulder so that his hand was directly over his heart. Remember?

And you, I remember you, standing there straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the right salute. Remember little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you with her right hand over her heart. Remember?

What happened? I am still the same old flag. Oh, I have a few more stars since the old days. A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago.

But now I don't feel as proud as I used to. When I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets and I may get a small glance and then you look away. Then I see the children running around and shouting, they didn't seem to know who I am. I saw one man take his hat off, then looked around. He didn't see anybody else with their hats off so he quickly put his hat back on.

Is it a sin to be patriotic anymore? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I've been? Anzio, Guadalcanal, Korea, Viet Nam, Okinawa. Take a look at the memorial honor rolls sometime of those who
never came back to keep this Republic Free. One Nation Under God. When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Well, it wont be long until I'll be coming down your street again. So, when you see me, stand straight, place your right hand over your heart, and I'll salute you by waving back, and I'll know that ...

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I Am Your Flag

I am your flag.
I was born June 14, 1777.
I am more then just cloth shaped into a design.
I am the refuge of the World's oppressed people.
I am the silent sentinel of freedom.
I am the emblem of the greatest sovereign nation on earth.
I am the inspiration for which American Patriots gave their lives and fortunes.
I have led your sons into battle from Valley Forge to the dense jungles of Vietnam.
I walk in silence with each of your honored dead to their final resting place beneath the silent white crosses - row upon row.
I have flown through peace and war; strife and prosperity; and amidst it all, I have been respected.

I am your flag.
My red stripes symbolize the blood spilled in defense of this glorious nation.
My white stripes signify the yurning tears shed by Americans who lost their sons and daughters.
My blue field is indicative of God's heaven, under which I fly.
My stars, clustered together, unify fifty states as one, for God and Country. "Old Glory" is my nickname, and I proudly wave on high. Honor me, respect me, defend me with your lives and your fortunes.
Never let my enemies tear me down from my lofty position, lest I never return.
Keep alight the fires of patriotism; strive earnestly for the spirit of Democracy.
Worship God and I shall remain the bulwark of peace and freedom for all mankind.
I am Your Flag!

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Scouting Flag

The flag of the United States is a symbol of our country and all it represents. One of the many great things our flag represents is Scouting. Let's look at the flag from our Scouting viewpoint.

The white stripes are all Scouts with their clean, fresh desire to learn, be with the best of others, and still stand out in their own individuality.

The red stripes can represent the parents, who have given their sons the blood of inheritance, the closeness of constant support, the brilliance of visible good example and distinction of encouraging self-reliance.

The blue field represents the Scouting organization with it's broad principles and high ideals bound together with sound practices serving a teaching and supporting background.

The white stars are Scout leaders - all those who promote the interest of Boy Scouts, guide them in self-leadership, brighten the way of their growth, and illuminate the goals to constructive manhood.

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Just a Piece of Cloth

It's just a piece of cloth, that's all it is
Just a piece of cloth.
But when a little breeze comes along, it stirs and comes to life
And flutters and snaps in the wind, all red and white and blue.
Then you realize that no other piece of cloth could be like it.
It has your whole life wrapped up in it.
The meals you eat, the time you spend with your family,
The kind of things boys and girls learn at school,
The strange and wonderful thoughts you get in church.
Those stars on it,
They make you feel just as free as the stars
in the wide, wide, deep night.
And the stripes,
they are the bars of blood
To any dictator who would try to change this way of life.
Just a piece of cloth, that's all it is
Until you put your soul into it and give it meaning;
Then it is the symbol of liberty and decency
and fair dealing for everyone.
It is just a piece of cloth
Until we breathe life into it,
Until we make it stand for everything we believe in
And refuse to live without it.

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Equipment: One scout wearing a jacket over his scout uniform and is blindfolded, gagged, and hands bound. Another scout to lead him to the front and perform actions.

(scout is brought forward)
This is an American boy.
The American Revolution won him freedom.
(Scout unbinds him.)
The Constitution guarantees him free speech.
(Scout removes gag.)
Public education lets him understand the world.
(Scout removes blindfold.)
Scouting teaches him to preserve and enjoy his heritage and to become a good citizen.
(Remove jacket to show uniform.)

As Americans, let's pledge our allegiance in gratitude for the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy in this country.

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Scout Promise

Equipment: Red, white, and blue candles. 3 scouts.

Have you noticed the strong bond between our flag and our Scout Promise?

(Scout lights white candle)
One of the colors of the flag is white, It is the symbol of purity and perfection, It is like the first part of our Scout Promise, Our Duty to God.

(Scout lights red candle)
The color red in our flag means sacrifice and courage, the qualities of the founders of our country. Red is the symbol of the second part of the Scout Promise. Our duty to other people requires courage to help anyone in trouble and the self-sacrifice of putting others first.

(Scout lights blue candle)
Blue is the color of faith. It represents the Scout Law, which we faithfully follow. We do our best to be true and honest and strong in character.

Let's dedicate ourselves with our Pledge of Allegiance and follow with the Boy Scout Promise.

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I am an American

(Flags are processed in.)
Up to 10 scouts can each speak one of the following, or have each scout have multiple parts:

My country gives each one of us the opportunity to advance according to his ambition. Education is for all. I am an American.

My country means love of freedom, faith in democracy, justice and equality. I am an American.

My country believes in the moral worth of the common
man. I am an American.

My country gives us the privilege of expressing beliefs or opinions without fear of persecution. I am an American.

My country has the best form of government. It is my duty to keep it that way. I am an American.

My country promises life, liberty, and the pursuit
of happiness. I am an American.

My country gives us a privilege that we will protect and defend even with our lives. I am an American.

My country is, and always shall remain, the land of the free and the home of the brave. I am an American.

My country meets any need or suffering with compassion and loyalty. I am an American.

My country believes in the freedom of the individual. I am an American.

Please join in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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National Anthem

I occasionally stop to look at the Flag rippling in the breeze around our town. I think it's a baeutiful flag, with it's 13 stripes and it's stars on a field of blue.

Red is a symbol of Bravery, White is a symbol of Purity, and Blue is a symbol of Love and Devotion.

The cloth of which our Flag is made is made up of millions of threads and stitched, and all bound together and each doing it's part, making our Flag.

In the same way, our Country is made up of millions of individuals, with different religious beliefs, different colors and creeds, but all bound together in the common cause to see that Liberty and Justice prevails in this Country.

When looking at our flag, I can understand how proud Francis Scott Key was when he wrote our National Anthem. He had visited a British battle ship anchored in Baltimore Harbor to intercede for the release of a friend of his held captive by the British. When he walked into the British Captain's cabin he overheard the plans the British were making to assault Fort McHenry that night. The British Captain agreed to release Key's friend, but made Francis Scott Key remain overnight aboard the ship so he could not give away the plans for the attack.

As darkness was closing in, Francis Scott Key was on the deck of the ship and the last thing he saw was Old Glory proudly floating above Fort McHenry. During the night, the British made a terrific assault on Fort McHenry and Francis Scott Key had his doubts as to whether the Fort could stand during the night. As dawn was breaking, Francis Scott Key walked out onto the deck of the ship. The first thing that met his eyes was Old Glory still proudly flying above the Fort, and the words of our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, came to him at this time.

Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light,

What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming.

I think we should be as proud of our Flag as was Francis Scott Key, and that we should re-pledge our Allegiance to our Flag.