As Scouts, we wear patriotism on our sleeves. Literally.
The American flag comes pre-sewn on the right sleeve of every Scout uniform. It’s that important to us.
Because Flag Day is June 14, I wanted to share 14 times in the past that Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts have honored Old Glory.
A big Scouting salute to these shining stars — 14 among the countless examples of BSA patriotism.
1. Sanitation worker, a former Scout, picks up flag lying on the street
In 2014, I shared this story about Jeremy Fischer, an Oregon sanitation work who picked up a flag that was lying in the street.
In a show of extreme patriotism, he then folded the flag and returned it to his owner.
The owner posted a message on Facebook, and Fischer got recognition he didn’t ask for but certainly deserved.
2. Scouts place 2,977 flags in honor of 9/11 victims
In memory of the 2,977 victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Scouts in New Jersey planted that many flags at a funeral home.
Scouting Newsroom shared the story, which included this nice quote from the funeral director, who’s also an Eagle Scout: “The Scouts are always based on volunteering and helping the community,” he said. “[The flags] show that national unity.”
3. Nashville Scouts teach proper flag-folding technique
Patriotism and a daily good turn combined when a group of Scouts from Nashville, Tenn., showed TV viewers the right way to fold a flag.
They even got in a mention about the value of Scouting. Talk about making the most of their fame!
4. Scout sends flags and a hand-written note to Special Forces serving overseas
Earlier this year, Boy Scout Devin Prock, a proud American who some day wants to join the military, showed his respect for our men and women in uniform in a big way.
He sent mini-American flags and a hand-written note to Special Forces serving overseas.
“They’re risking their lives to keep us free,” the 15-year-old told a local TV station. “I feel that is the best job one could have.”
5. Scout installs flagpoles for wounded veterans
Thomas O’Gorman, from Troop 271 in Harker Heights, Texas, installed flag poles in front of the houses of veterans who were injured while serving our great nation.
As this Scouting Around post first explained, Thomas wanted to honor these real American heroes.
“Today’s society is so focused and wrapped around pop stars” he told KCEN-TV. “I want them to see the soldiers who sacrificed themselves and are brave enough to go out on the front line to protect their freedoms and mine.”
6. Venturers, Scouts and Explorers unfurl giant flag to open new 49ers stadium
Last year the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers invited 180 Boy Scouts, Venturers, Explorers and adult leaders to help open their new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
With 70,799 fans looking on (plus millions more at home), the Scouts and Scouters displayed the giant flag during pregame festivities.
Lisa Sydes, marketing director for the Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, shared some photos and her impression of this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
One parent told her, “It was an amazing experience that my son will remember for the rest of his life.”
7. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts raise American flag at Oregon TV station
It might seem like a simple gesture, but when Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in Bend, Ore., raised an American flag last year it made the local news.
To be fair, the location of their good turn certainly helped: They raised it outside of the KTVZ-TV news station.
Boy Scout Troop 25 and Cub Scout Pack 18 raised the flag that had spent time flying over the U.S. Capitol. Now every time those journalists come to work, they’ll think of the Scouts. That’s what I call good news.
8. Pinewood Derby car honors Iwo Jima
That iconic image from the Battle of Iwo Jima got the Pinewood Derby treatment when Scott Morrill and his son built the car seen here.
As Morrill told Pinewood Derby Times in 2009, he and his son used Army men “and cut the bases off the feet, then used heat to allow us to bend their legs and arms. The rocks are Styrofoam, and the large rock which holds the base of the flagpole hides the weight. The flag is a miniature fabric flag that was starched to hold the shape.”
One side note: Because of its height, the flag was just for display and not in place during the race.
9. Unique Venturing crew holds flag retirement ceremony
It’s pretty cool that Venturing Crew 1872 of Jacksboro, Texas, allowed anyone in the community to bring worn-out flags to their flag retirement ceremony.
It’s even cooler when you learn more about Crew 1872. The crew focuses on living history and enjoys many Civil War re-enactments.
“Forget the videogames,” the crew’s website reads. “This is the real thing.”
10. Eagle Scout builds flagpole brick monument
The American flag can be a gathering place for reverence. That’s what inspired Ryan Rowles of Florida to create a flagpole brick monument at his church.
At the dedication ceremony, the warm fuzzies were so strong that the group busted out in a spontaneous chorus of “God Bless America.”
“It was truly a goosebumps moment,” said Ryan’s mother, Kim Rowles.
11. Scouts take parade of flags to Miami’s South Beach
As part of the annual Barefoot Mailman hike we told you about in Scouting magazine, Scouts honor America by parading American flags along Miami’s famous South Beach.
That must be something to see.
The whole hike is great. Participants retrace the route of the legendary Barefoot Mailmen, who delivered letters on a route from Palm Beach, Fla., to Miami in the late 1800s.
12. San Antonio Scouts carry giant flag to honor fallen heroes
Alamo Area Council Scouts pitched in at the Battle of Flowers Parade in April. Several Boy Scouts walked a giant (20-by-50-foot) American flag along the 2.6-mile route of San Antonio’s largest day parade.
This citywide celebration honors the fallen heroes of the Alamo and commemorates the victory at the battle of San Jacinto.
See some great photos from this event on the council’s Flickr page.
13. North Carolina Cub Scouts learn about flag retirement
Cub Scouts know how to honor our flag, but most don’t know what to do with one that’s no longer fit for display.
That’s no longer the case for the Cub Scouts of Pack 100 of Boone, N.C. As the Watauga Democrat reported last month, these guys learned an important lesson in flag retirement.
“Cub Scouts requires them to learn how to properly fold a flag, but not how to retire one,” their leader said. “We thought it would be a learning experience, since these kids are so interested in the military and will probably need to learn anyway.”
14. St. Louis Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venturers place 189,000 flags
For Memorial Day in 2013, Scouts from St. Louis placed 189,000 flags on the graves of soldiers at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
That’s an unfathomable number of flags, and it speaks to the sacrifice of these 189,000 fallen soldiers. Some 4,000 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers showed up to honor that sacrifice.
On Memorial Day each year, similar displays of patriotic reverence are seen at cemeteries across the country.
How have your Scouts honored our Grand Old Flag? Let me know in the comments.