How to Do an Outdoor Flag Ceremony
29 SEP 2017
When you hold a simple and dignified flag ceremony, you'll give this American symbol the respect it deserves. With some careful planning, such a flag ceremony isn't difficult to conduct.
2 Decide who participates
Decide who participates. Choose a caller, a color bearer for each flag, and two to four color guards.
3 Choose a patriotic song or poem
Choose a patriotic song or poem to sing or recite. It's appropriate, but not necessary.
4 Inspect the flag
Inspect the flag. If it’s in poor condition -- with holes, tears or stains -- retire it and find another to use. Your local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts council can help.
5 Decide where to post the colors
Decide where to post the colors. The American flag should fly in the center, or to the right of any other flags, and should fly highest.
6 Place everyone in position with the flags
Place everyone in position with the flags. The caller stands near the flagpole or stand. The color guard stands in the rear of the area, forming a double line behind the U.S. flag bearer.
7 Caller Commands: Opening
8 Say to the audience
Say to the audience, "Please rise for the presentation of the colors."
Say, "Please remove any hats that are not part of a scout or military uniform."
10 Say if it
Say (if it’s a Scout meeting), "Scout attention." This signals anyone in uniform to salute.
Say, "Color guard attention.”
Say, "Color guard, advance." The color guard should walk slowly to the flagpole or stand.
13 Say Color guard
Say, "Color guard, post the colors." The color bearer raises the flag or places it in the stand.
14 Say Color Guard
Say, "Color Guard, honor your colors." The color guard salutes, or if not in uniform, they place their hands over their hearts.
15 Address the audience
Address the audience: "Please place your right hand over your heart and join me in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Say, "Two!" This is a traditional signal to lower your hands. If you want, say, "Please remain standing while (song or poem) is recited/sung."
17 Say if it
Say (if it's a Scout meeting), "Please join me in reciting the Scout Promise/Oath."
18 Say Color guard
Say, "Color guard dismissed." The color guard walks to the back of the area.
19 Say You
Say, "You may be seated."
20 Caller Commands: Closing
Say, "Please rise for the retrieval of the colors."
22 Say if it
Say (if it’s a scout meeting), "Scout attention."
Say, "Color guard attention.”
Say, "Color guard approach." The color guard walks to the flag area. Play a recorded or live version of "Taps" if you wish.
25 Say Color guard
Say, "Color guard, honor your colors." The color guard salutes, or they place their hands over their hearts.
26 Say Color guard
Say, "Color guard, retrieve the colors." The color bearers remove or lower the flags.
27 Say Color guard
Say, "Color guard dismissed." The color guard carries the flags to a rest or storage area, ending the ceremony.