The Flagstaff Spade Marker

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The Flagstaff The guidon staff comes in three sizes for the US military: 8′ – for guidon flags and 3′ x 4′ colors (all services) 9’6″ – for 4’4″ x 5’6″ flags (all but the Air Force) 9′ – for 4’4″ x 5’6″ flags (Air Force, for some reason, as of 2019) The Finial A finial is a device or …

Color Guard Performance “Factors”

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As much as I am a “by-the-book” Airman, I know there are times when certain organizations must adapt and overcome and follow the spirit of the regulations rather than the letter. Speaking of letters. Below, is the text of an email from a friend of mine, MSgt Vincent Liddle of Warren Central High School MCJROTC. I was surprised to wake …

Flagstaff Refurbishing

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Flagstaffs can become weathered and lose their original look like the one pictured. That is easily remedied! Well, not easy-easy, but it’s not really all that difficult. Here are the steps: Remove the ferrules and middle screw joints. Sand the staffs down completely to the wood. Stain the the staffs. Coat the staffs with at least five coats of urethane. …

Color Guard Flag Protocol

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The National Ensign/American Flag For the National Ensign/Color/American Flag, military and other color guards will always hold its staff vertical (Marine Corps, Navy, & Coast Guard and US Certified Ceremonial Guardsmen) or slightly incline it forward (Army & Air Force), depending on the service drill and ceremonies manual for regulation or ceremonial drill. The minimum color guard compliment requirement is …

The Difference Between Mark Time and Half Step

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OK, we know that Mark Time has you marching in place and Half Step has you marching forward at half the size as a normal step. But, there is confusion out there and I see it constantly. Mark Time Service Differences The Army tells us that the foot is brought straight up off the marching surface two inches. The Marine …

Flag Protocol Slides

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The following slides are provided for educating my fellow Americans. Please download and share. If you would like to have the whole set emailed to you, please use the contact form on the front page of the website.

Nassau County (NY) Police Department Explorers

More Than One Flag At a Ceremony

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“You cannot display more than one flag at a ceremony!” That’s one of several urban legends I’ve heard over the years related to me or told directly to me by well meaning people. Well meaning people who don’t know what they are talking about. Apparently, one set already posted and another set formally presented is “too many”. I know, you …

Replacing the Army Spade Finial

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Finial = the topper/ornament of a flagstaff Flagstaff = the guidon staff carried by a color guard member Active Duty and Reserve US Navy and US Coast Guard color guards are required to have the battle-ax, also called a Battalion Lance, as their primary finial, according to NTP 13B, Flags, Pennants and Customs (download from the Resources page). The Army …

Organizing a Massing of the Colors Event

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Massed Colors Massed colors, but not the type outlined in the Army and Marine drill and ceremonies manuals. These manuals specifically state to not have multiple color guards at a ceremony. One is enough. But, that’s for strictly military formations. Click here for information on a massed colors formation. Massing of the Colors is an event where multiple color guards …

All About the Color Guard

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Please read this article very carefully. The following information is based in regulation drill. Much of the information directly relates to ceremonial unit color guards. Even though this is not about ceremonial drill (honor guard), color guards are ceremonial in nature and all must adhere to the standards. Definitions Military color guard. A uniformed Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserve …