Flag in Parades

Discussion in 'Other Flags' started by LDALY88468, Jan 12, 2008.

  1. LDALY88468

    LDALY88468 New Member

    During parades we carry the US flag, Irish flag, Papal flag, state flag and our division flag. My question is all flags are the same size except our new division flag is is 5x9. Can and how to do we line up when marching, where does flag go and is it a problem that our division flag is bigger?
     
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    During parades we carry the US flag, Irish flag, Papal flag, state flag and our division flag. My question is all flags are the same size except our new division flag is is 5x9. Can and how to do we line up when marching, where does flag go and is it a problem that our division flag is bigger?

    Hi, welcome! This is actually a interesting problem.

    First of all, I'm assuming that your Irish flag is the orange-white-green tricolor of the Republic of Ireland, and that the Papal flag is the flag of the Vatican. These two flags, along with the US flag, take precedence over the others because they are national flags, and the state flag takes precedence over the division flag. The US flag comes first because it's the host nation, and Ireland comes before Vatican in alphabetical order. The order of precedence is thus: US, Ireland, Vatican, state, division.

    When flags are displayed in a row, the order of precedence is from right to left when facing in the direction of march. When one flag is in front of another in the line of march, it takes precedence over one behind.

    Putting the division flag beside any of the other flags will look awkward because the division flag is bigger. To solve that problem while maintaining all the precedence rules, I would suggest: US, Ireland, Vatican and state in a row from right to left across the line of march, and the division flag by itself centered behind the first row.

    Is there any chance that you could take a picture of the formation during the parade, and post it here?

    Peter Ansoff
     
  3. jnanney

    jnanney New Member

    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Peter,[/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif'] [/FONT]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Okay I understand the Right to Left Front to Rear precedence... One more twist, how about military flags? I am running a group in a parade that will be displaying the US Flag, POW Flag, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Merchant Marines, and our organization’s flag. Is there any specific order of precedence in this group? Other then the US Front Right.[/FONT]
     
  4. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    how about military flags? I am running a group in a parade that will be displaying the US Flag, POW Flag, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Merchant Marines, and our organization’s flag.

    Hi. The precedence of military flags is addressed in Army and Air Force protocol regulations (AR 600-25 and AFI34-1201, respectively). The Air Force regulation is slightly more comprehensive, but they are very similar.

    A few notes about these regulations as they apply to your situation:

    1. Oddly, neither regulation mentions the Merchant Marines, although they do include the Corps of Midshipmen at the Merchant Marine Academy, which they place right after Coast Guard Cadets. For consistency, I'd assume that the Merchant Marine flag should go right after the Coast Guard flag.

    2. The Army regulation does not mention the POW/MIA flag; however, the Air Force says "The POW/MIA flag will always be the last flag in any display."

    3. Both regulations put "other training organizations" after all of the other flags (except the POW/MIA flag in the case of the Air Force). You didn't mention what the nature of your organization is, but it would probably fit best in this category.

    Based on these instructions, and the above caveats, it sounds like the order should be: USA, Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, National Guard, organizational, POW/MIA.

    I hope this is useful.

    Peter Ansoff
     
  5. Hello Mr. Ansoff,
    My Boy Scout Troop is marching in an American Spirit Parade. I planned to have a Color Guard front with American, state and Boy Scout Troop flag, in that order rt. to lt. Behind the color guard, we have a 25 ft. American Flag we will carry flat by 6 or 8 people, with the union positioned in upper left corner when viewed by officials and honored guests from the reviewing stand. This followed by Army, Marine Corp,Navy,Air Force & Coast Guard mounted on a vehicle in this order from rt. Is this proper and acceptable ?
     
  6. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Hi, welcome to the forum!

    Behind the color guard, we have a 25 ft. American Flag we will carry flat by 6 or 8 people, with the union positioned in upper left corner when viewed by officials and honored guests from the reviewing stand.

    This is just a bit of a trick question. The flag code (Section 8, "Respect for the Flag") says:

    "The flag should never be carried flat or horizontally, but always aloft and free."

    However, this is one of those cases where the flag code has been overtaken by events. It's common nowdays to carry large flags horizontally in parades and pageants. As long as the flag is kept taut and clear of the ground, nobody seems to object. If anyone gives you a hard time about violating the flag code, you can tell them that the code is just a "codification of existing rules and customs pertaining to the display and use of the flag" (flag code, Section 5), and that usage changes over time.

    As to the orientation of the union, my thought would be to put it forward on the right side, viewed as you face the direction of march -- this would be consistent with other parts of the flag code. If the reviewing stand is on the left side of the line of march, this would be the same as what you describe. If the reviewing stand is on the right side, however, your arrangement would put the union at the rear; this might look a bit odd.

    I hope this helps. Could you possibly take a photo of the troop in the parade, and post it here?

    Peter Ansoff
     
  7. meamemg

    meamemg New Member

    One more thing to note, the yellow flag of the Vactican that was originally mentioned, would likely go before the flag of Irlend, as officially the country is The Holy See.
    -Eric
     
  8. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    the yellow flag of the Vactican that was originally mentioned, would likely go before the flag of Irlend, as officially the country is The Holy See.

    Well, it's actually a bit more complicated. As I understand it, the Holy See and the Vatican City are two distinct and different things. The Holy See is the legal and judcial head of the Catholic church, including the Pope and his supporting officials and staff. It is not a nation as such, but it is legally and judically equivalent to one (it can sign treaties, exchange ambassadors, etc.) It has existed since ancient times. The Vatican City is the physical territory in which the seat of the church is located, and was created in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty with Italy.

    Both the Holy See and the Vatican City have flags. The two are almost identical -- yellow and white, with the crossed keys emblem in the white field. One of the keys is gold, and the other is silver. The difference is that on the Holy See flag, the gold key is in the "dexter" position (the top of the key is on the viewer's left) while on the Vatican flag the sliver key is in the dexter position.

    As to precedence with other national flags, that's a really interesting question. It doesn't normally arise, because neither the Vatican nor the Holy See are members of the UN, and they are not normally involved in the sorts of events (the Olympic Games, for example) at which national flags are displayed. The status of the Holy See -- sort of a nation, but not exactly -- makes things even fuzzier.

    The original questioner said that they were carring the "Papal Flag" and the Irish national flag in a parade. I'd assume that "Papal Flag" meant the Holy See flag rather than the Vatican flag. My personal take would be that the Irish flag should have precedence, even though "H" comes before "I," because Ireland is a nation and the Holy See, despite its power and prestige, is not. However, one could certainly make a legitimate argument that it should be the other way around.

    Anyway, great comment! Thanks, Eric, and welcome to the forum!

    Peter Ansoff
     

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