Color Guard- Another Chance to Serve and Learn

Color Guard- Another Chance to Serve and Learn
Dr. Spencer, the guest author for this article, is one of the most creative people I have worked with when it comes to finding ways to get boys involved in Scouting. He always thinks "outside the box." See if the idea of a district color guard might fit into your plans.

The Color Guard was born out of a request from the Mayor of the City of Orange, California in 1976, when he requested a contingent of Boy Scouts to provide a flag ceremony on the occasion of our country’s bicentennial celebration. The original Color Guard consisted of only two riflemen, the American flag, the Bennington flag, the State flag, and a Boy Scout flag. Now known as the Main Guard, the American flag they carry was presented to the Color Guard in 1976 by Congressman William Dannemeyer and was the flag that stood on the Speaker of the House’s platform in our Nation’s Capitol. Following the first ceremony, requests were made for flag ceremonies for numerous civic and sports activities. Over the next six years, the Color Guard increased in size to twelve, with the addition of England’s Union Jack, the Flag of the Green Mountain Boys, the Betsy Ross flag, Old Glory, the Star Spangled Banner and Gadsden. In 1982, the Color Guard increased to twenty-one when the Scoutmaster/Founder/Director moved to Texas and added the Six Flags over Texas, the Alamo flag, the Confederate Southern Cross and the flag of the Union. On Columbus Day in 1984, the Columbus Day flag was added. From 1986 to 1991 another Boy Scout flag was added along with the Raven flag, the St. George Cross of England, the First Rhode Island Regiment, the Navy Jack, the flag of the Culpepper Minutemen, the Gilford Courthouse flag, the Commodore Perry, the Washington Cruisers, the Bunker Hill, the Red Ensign of England, the Moultrie, the Grand Union, the Great Star and the Kennedy Lincoln Funeral flag, bringing the total to thirty-seven. Since 1992, they have added the Scottish Cross of St. Andrew, the Gonzales of 1835, the 48 and 49 Star flags & the POW-MIA flags for a total of forty-two.

Over the years the Color Guard has marched in many parades and performed numerous flag ceremonies for civic, religious, charitable, business and sporting events. The Color Guard has performed for the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, the Rangers-Yankees Division Play-off Series and the Olympic Wrestling Trials in conjunction with the Texas Girls Choir. In 1999, the Color Guard participated in Governor George W. Bush’s Inauguration Ceremony and was the only scout unit to march in the parade. In 2001, they spent ten days in Washington, D.C., where they toured our Nation’s Capitol, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and served as Honor Guard at the Inaugural Ball for President George W. Bush at the Reagan Trade Center.

Since that time, in addition to continued participation in numerous Civic activities, they again participated in the Gubernatorial Inauguration of Governor Rick Perry in 2003. The Color Guard returned to D.C. in 2005 and performed at the Celebration of Freedom. In 2007, Congressman Barton presented the Color Guard with a new US Flag flown over the Capitol and, in grateful appreciation "for honoring this great nation through the flags of our fathers", the Blue Bonnet Detachment of the Marine Corps League presented the Color Guard with the 34 Star Gettysburg Civil War Flag. The Color Guard continues to function under the sponsorship of Venture Crew 4 of the Tejas District, and other units within the District are invited and encouraged to participate to continue the tradition of providing an opportunity for Scouts to demonstrate their Duty to Country.

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