Help, anyone? Color guard question..

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Flag Discussion' started by Liz2010, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Liz2010

    Liz2010 New Member

    Hey everyone.

    My name is Liz, and I work for a Fire Department which has recently decided we should start our own Color Guard and Honor Guard for various reasons. We as a group decided we didn't want one person in charge so we could all have a decision and voice in the group.

    We just started marching and commanding trainings this past week. Our Color Guard just started tonight. I was in a previous Color Guard before this one and we always had the two rifles on the outer sides and flags in the middle, American Flag holder always being the commander. I found this was appropriate as the American flag should be in command. The color guard I'm currently in has decided to have the American flag, our station flag and the two axes (common for Fire Departments), but in addition a commander outside of the color guard. I don't know if it's just me being stubborn but this is unsettling to me. I feel the American flag should be the commander for the color guard and the other members don't understand why I feel this way and I can't word it in a way for them to understand. They feel that having a seperate commander is in no way disrespecting or dishonoring the flag in any way but I still can't gget past this.

    So long story short, am I being stubborn and pigheaded to feel the American flag should command, or should it be commanding as I think. If it should, how can I get this point across. How can I show them that the American flag should be in command.

    Thanks in advance for you assistance and opinions.
    Liz :)
  2. Peter Ansoff

    Peter Ansoff USA Flag Site Admin

    Greetings, Liz! Welcome aboard.

    The civilian Flag Code doesn't say anything one way or the other about this, so each organization is free to make its own rules. However, most color guards that I've observed tend to follow military regulations. Both Army and Marine Corps regulations are very clear that the senior member of the color guard carries the national flag and gives the commands and orders for the movements of the guard. The references for this are MCO P5060 Para 7004 for the Marines, and FM 3-21.5 para 15-4 for the Army.

    So -- no, I don't think that you are being stubborn. You are correct that that's the way it's normally done.

    Peter Ansoff
  3. flagnazi

    flagnazi Member

    Liz: Sorry for a late response, just joined today. As a member of an AF Reserve HG, I agree with Peter which is the military way of doing things at least we would have to say that since there is no civilian way noted. In my experience I have not seen a commander of a Colors Team that is outside of the colors team. As Peter said, the bearer of the US Flag is the command giver and that person is usually the senior member of that Colors Team. Understand, this does not mean the senior ranking individual, it means the member who has the most experience. If all are equally experienced you could then put the senior ranking individual as the US bearer. Unfortunately, a committee being in charge of something sometimes doesn't work, even in firefighting and police work their is leadership. Leadership carries significant responsibility and is also capable of recognizing that just because they are the leader doesn't always mean they are in charge or know what to do. Dialogue amongst yourselves in a non-threatening way as to why it is felt necessary to do this may go a long way to understanding. "Seek first to understand then be understood". Hope all goes well. Mike

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