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Color Guard

From daily flag ceremonies at camp or presenting the colors at an event, participating in a color guard is a time-honored tradition for Girl Scouts. These ceremonies are fit for a variety of occasions and can take place anywhere, from a troop or service unit meeting to on horseback. Troops may provide ceremonies at community events, such as town hall meetings, holiday parades, and Girl Scout events.

Planning Your Flag Ceremony

Flag ceremonies can be customized based on the occasion and location. While all flag ceremonies should feature respect for the flag and follow the flag code, some elements may be changed depending on the situation. There are many things to consider when planning your flag ceremony:

  • How many girls will be participating?
  • How many flags will you be using? Which flags?
  • What is the layout of the location, including where the girls will be walking and where the flags will be placed?
  • Who is the audience?
  • Will you be including any songs, poems, or other sayings to the ceremony?
  • Will there be a practice time for the girls?

You may need to alter a flag ceremony, like one you use for your troop meeting, if you were instead presenting at a town hall meeting. For example, not reciting the Girl Scout Promise after the Pledge of Allegiance, or using a different number of flags. 

Color Guard Members

A color guard is made up of three different jobs:

Caller - The designated person who ‘calls out’ the parts of the ceremony. 

  • Stands in front and to one side of the audience. 
  •  Needs to speak clearly and loudly for all members of the audience to hear. 
  • May sometimes be referred to as the “Girl Scout in charge.” 
  • Often one person, but can be multiple.

Flag Bearer(s) - The person who carries the flag – one flag per person.  

  • Hold the staff (pole) at a slight angle in front of the body, or hold the folded flag in front of the body at waist level.  
  • Stands silent and at attention throughout the ceremony and does not repeat the Pledge of Allegiance nor sing the National Anthem. 
  • Flags always include the American Flag and may include others as well, such as state flags or organization flags.

Color Guard(s) - Guards the honor of the flag and watches to see that the flag does not touch the ground.

  • Stands behind the flag bearer, or to each side if in a line of more than one flag.  
  • Two per flag is traditional, but any number may be used.  
  • Stands silent and at attention throughout the ceremony and does not repeat the Pledge of Allegiance nor sing the National Anthem.

A color guard can consist of almost any number of people, but less than 5 members may be difficult, depending on the number of flags.

Handling the Flag

When handling the flag, Girl Scouts should follow these guidelines:

  • Follow the Flag Code in carrying, folding, and displaying the flag. See resources below for additional details on the Flag Code. 
  • All flags should be unfurled and not twisted around the pole. They should never touch the ground, floor, etc.
  • Wear a full uniform: khaki pants, white shirt, and Girl Scout sash, vest, or tunic. Red sashes and white gloves are optional. 
  • If wearing sashes, flag bearers should wear their sashes over their right shoulder and tied on their waist on the left side. The color guard should wear their sashes around their waist, tied at the left.

Council Resources

Girl Scouts of Utah offers color guard training for troops interested in learning more and practicing. Girls learn about the history of the flag and flag code, then practice an indoor Girl Scout flag ceremony with other girls.

The following resources are available for color guard:

If your troop is interested in providing flag ceremonies in the community, please email the completed availability form to programs@gsutah.org. Flag ceremony gear rentals, including flags, stands, sashes, and gloves, are also available. Please email info@gsutah.org for rental information.

Color Guard Advocacy Patch

Girl Scouts of Utah offers a council patch program on color guards. When you complete the program, fill out the patch survey to pick up the patches from our shop.

Color Guard Patch Program