The Final Defense of the American Flag

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When I was a cadet at New Mexico Military Institute, one of the inspection questions we were required to answer was: What is in the truck (or ball) at the top of the flag pole? First, the truck is the flat piece at the top of a flagpole (outside) or a flagstaff (used for color guards). This has to do …


The American Flag at Half-Staff and Half-Mast

DrillMaster Ask DrillMaster, Commentary, Honor Guard, Instructional 6 Comments

Staff = a flagpole on land. Mast = a flagpole on a ship at sea or on a Marine Corps, Navy, or Coast Guard installation or other maritime location. Halyard = the rope used to raise and lower the flag. Never fly a fringed flag on a stationary or mounted (on a wall or post) flagpole. These flags are only …

Flag Protocol Slides

DrillMaster Color Guard, Honor Guard Training, Protocol and Flag Leave a Comment

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.

Appropriate Flag Retirement

DrillMaster Color Guard/Color Team, Honor Guard, Honor Guard Training, Protocol and Flag Leave a Comment

There is a flag fold technique for the first triangle fold called, Cutting the First Stripe. It’s used for an interment flag that has been used for practice and has been folded and refolded so much that it is a bit stretched out, but still good for practice. This technique “cuts” the stripe in half on that first fold, pictured …

When to Drape the Deceased

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My firefighting friends in California had a great question for me. Here are my thoughts. What a tragedy to lose a fellow firefighter, emergency medic, or law enforcement officer, let alone a member of the armed forces. However, it does happen and all too often. Since we know that death comes to us all and that it is just a …

The Misplaced Respect of Stars For Our Troops

DrillMaster Commentary, Honor Guard, Instructional 16 Comments

A while back I noticed pictures of scouts (male and female) cutting the canton (blue field) from American flags readying them for proper disposal. I was not happy. I then noticed pictures of stars cut from American flags that we neatly packaged in very small zip-close bags with a nice typed note inside to our country’s veterans that reads: “I …

When to Raise and Lower the American Flag

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I received these questions just a short time ago. 1. At the beginning of the work day (duty day) when raising the U.S. flag in conjunction with a state flag which one is flown first? I believe it to be the U.S. flag. Answer: Per the Flag Code, the American flag is always raised first. 2. When lowering the flags …

Flag Pole Height Chart and Maritime Flag Arrangements

DrillMaster Honor Guard Training, Instructional 1 Comment

For our purposes, flagpole means a permanent pole cemented into the ground and flagstaff is one that is carried. For flagpoles a general rule of thumb is the height of the flag should be 1/3 or 1/5 the height of the flagpole (the pole should be three or five times the height of the flag). Here is an example. For a …

The Flagpole with Two Halyards and the Intended Direction of Display

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DrillMaster explains his helpful term, Intended Direction of Display, when raising flags on a stationary flagpole with two halyards.