A typical honor guard consists of one flag bearer for the U.S. flag, one or two additional flag bearers for state or organizational flags and two additional guards who do not carry flags. Military, veterans organization and police color guard members typically carry parade rifles if they are not carrying a flag.

Parading and Posting the Colors

No other U.S. flag may be on display when a color guard is preparing to post the colors. The honor guard begins out of the audience's sight, if possible, with the flag bearers in the center. The U.S. flag must be to the right and even with or ahead of all other flags. The two guards who do not bear flags position themselves to the left and right of the flags, respectively. The U.S. flag must be carried level with or higher than all other flags and must never be dipped. The honor guard should march together. If posting the flags, the honor guard should wheel as a unit to face the crowd before posting the flags. Before posting the flags, all flags other than the U.S. flag should be dipped slightly in deference to the U.S. flag.